Walk Through The Web Wednesday 9/29

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
I hope this day finds you well. The Human (also our Purrsonal Assistant, Staff and General Lackey) was under the weather. Now, as sorry as we were that she had a nasty sinus infection, this illness put a severe crimp in our schedule. She would go to that place she calls “work”, then come home and go right to bed and spent the weekend in bed so she could go to that place she calls “work”. (I’m sure glad I’m not a human!)

Now mind you, hanging out on the bed with her is okay (and we did apply ample doses of purr therapy) and we get lots of extra skritches and cuddles.

“You still breathing over there Human?”

As concerned as we were for her health, we did have some concerns of our own, those being meals and treats.

“Hey guys, I’m feeling a bit peckish. Is The Human making any signs like she’s going to get up and feed us?”
“So Human, are you gonna’ get up any time soon?”
“A little less reading and a little more feeding!”
“Maybe we should learn how to meow at that Alexa thing to order us some dinner.”

I am happy to report that no meals were missed! Oh, and that The Human is finally over her sinus infection.

Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Butts Before They Pounce?

Sometimes, the things you humans want to know about us felines strikes me as very funny.  Take for instance, the question about why cats wiggle their butts before we take off running.

There is not one answer (probably  because there has not been a big demand for research in this area) but experts do have some theories.

Live Science opines that it’s possible that cats are trying to establish traction between their back legs and the ground in order to strengthen their pounce. Feeling steady is especially important since they’re jumping from two paws simultaneously.

“Basically, when cats pounce, they need to propel themselves using both hind limbs for full takeoff. Usually when cats walk, they alternate their back legs, but when jumping or pouncing they use both together,” veterinarian Katie Grzyb remarked.

Other experts think it’s less about their legs and more about the ground itself. Shifting our weight from back paw to back paw a few times may help us verify that the surface we’re on is firm enough to pounce from.

Excitement may also be a factor, too. Cats enjoy hunting, and wiggling a little may be their way of letting off some of that extra energy before going in for the kill. As for whether the pre-pounce shake has any bearing on our hunting success rate, the jury is still out.

Cats May Connect to Their Owners Just as Much as Dogs, Study Finds

A recent study published in Current Biology and conducted by a team at Oregon State University; found that pet cats exhibited distinct attachment styles toward caregivers that are similarly seen in dogs and even babies. Well DUH!

The team of researchers examined the traits of 70 kitten and 38 cats documenting how they behaved both with and without their human caregivers.

The experiment, called an attachment test, placed the felines in a room with their owners for two minutes, before being separated for another two minutes.

When they were reunited, researchers kept close watch and categorized the cats’ behavior in relation to several specific attachment styles.

Researchers found that around 65 percent of the cats (both young and older) exhibited what is known as a “secure” attachment style, meaning they showed signs of distress when their caregivers left the room and a “reduced stress response,” or healthy mix of attachment and exploration, when they returned.

Around 35 percent exhibited an insecure attachment style, meaning they stayed stressed even when reunited with their owners, and displayed a mix of excessive contact, avoidant, or disorganized behavior when their owners came back into the room.

According to the study, the disparity of secure and insecure attachment styles was similar to that found in the findings for human children.

The attachment style criteria were developed from previous studies on primates and dogs.

The study concluded that “the majority of individuals in these [cat] populations securely attached to their caregiver.” And they needed a study for this??

Why Do Cats Wag Their Tails? Here’s What Your Feline Is Trying to Tell You

And here we have another kitty conundrum for you humans. Now I admit that we felines don’t have the kind of facial expressions that let you humans know what we’re thinking but, our tails are a completely  different story. That’s because every swish, shake or wag will tell you how we feel, how you can meet our needs (very important) and what to expect next.

We use our tails to communicate but we sometimes send mixed messages with our tail movements.  We felines evolved as a solitary species and when our wild cousins communicate it’s mostly about territory or mating.  And, in the wild, it’s not always a good idea for felines to let other animals know how we think or feel as they may take that as a sign of weakness.

Our body language is interesting to watch but not always easy to understand. This is why the tail is always a good indicator. Looking at our tails, considering our overall body position and the activity and surrounding environment will help you decode our mood.

Here are 12 ways we wag our tails and what we’re trying to tell you when we wag them.

1. Wagging Tail

A feline’s wagging tail usually means we are upset. If our back is arched and our head is lowered we just might be getting ready to fight.  If your feline is constantly wagging his tail, without the other more aggressive body language, it may mean he is sick or in pain and you need to call your vet.

2. Straight Up Tail

A high, straight tail means, “Hello hum,an, I’m happy to see  you!” It’s also a sign of trust and joy when your feline walks near others in the house or favorite toys or places.

3. Tail Straight Out and Rigid

When a feline is crouched and ready to pounce, his tail will go straight out and rigid so it can be used as a balancing tool when making quick turns or jumpiong.

4. Lowered Tail

The lower our tail, the more cautious or unsure we are.

5. Tucked Tail

This is usually a sign of fear but can also indicate the cat doesn’t feel well.

6. Flicking Tail

This has numerous meanings, it can mean excitement, irritation or that your feline is feelingpoorly.

7. Tapping Tail

If we are in a relaxed position and tapping the end of our tail, it either means slight annoyance or that we’re contemplating something (for me it could mean, “Should I open the cabinet door and knock the garbage on the floor or just stay here where it’s comfy?”

8. Swishing Tail

A side-by-side swish says I’m irritated or agitated.

9. Question Mark Tail

When the tip of our tail forms the shape of a question mark, it means we’re happy or in a playful mood.

10. Tail Shiver or Shudder

This means I’m excited, marking my territory, or feeling stressed, anxious, or insecure if my tail shivers or shudders.

11. Lowered, Puffed Out Tail

If the hair on the tail puffs out (we call this “fuzzy tail”) and the body is arched (think Halloween kitty) your cat has been startled by something or is really scared.  

12. The Wrap

When your cat wraps his tail around you or drags his tail over you, it’s an affectionate, trusting gesture. It can also be a sign of ownership. Because of course our humans belong to us, we don’t belong to you!

A purrfect trio: Kitten introduced to ‘seeing eye’ cat and blind feline

Last month, a Sioux City Iowa animal shelter found two inseparable cats, one cat that didn’t have eyes and the other, its mother, that was acting as its “seeing-eye” cat.

One-year-old Keller was born without eyes and his mother has protected him ever since – making it impossible to expose him to another adult cat in her presence.

Keller was brought into the shelter first and when he was taken to be neutered he was scared and confused. His mother was found and she took great care of him but she was also not well.

A tumor was removed from her mouth and she was reunited with the kitten but it made the shelter think that they needed to have another cat that would bond with Keller in case anything happened to mom. They decided a kitten would be the least threatening to the mother.

The shelter director said,  “The mother did not accept any other cats because she’d been protecting Keller all of his life, and so we took a kitten. And it was one of our kittens that was very unique, he was, he’s got a ton of personality and he just was … just a different and a unique personality. So we put him in with them and they love each other. I’ve been here 37 years and I’ve never come across a situation like this,”

Nine-week-old Trixie the kitten is now part of the family and has been learning to help the blind cat. “We use bells, a ball with a bell in it so that he can hear exactly where this ball is. The kitten and Keller they walk together in unison and the kitten is learning how to guide his blind buddy.

And now, all that’s left to do is find a home for the three cats.

“We have to find somebody that will accept three cats, and let alone two cats and let alone one cat. So we’ve been looking for that special home, that special someone that would give these guys a chance,” said Rarrat.

Paws crossed and purraying that this unique little family will find a furever home!

Feline Hungry? Crafty Kitty Cons Shoppers Into Buying Cat Food In Grocery Store

This cat in turkey is the epitome of the saying, “Patience is a virtue”. An Instagram video  shows a cat sitting in front of a supermarket shelf that’s filled with cat food. A kind hearted shopper stops to buy some food for the hungry feline.

Ozan Goksu, was shopping at a Rossmann store in Istanbul on Sept. 26 when he encountered the hungry feline.  He believes that “everyone should help stray animals within their means.”

The video shows Goksu coming across the animal in the supermarket as it waits in front of the cat food products. Goksu picks up a packet of Whiskas brand cat food and beckons the feline to follow him.

The cat follows him through the checkout and outside the store, where Goksu empties the contents on the ground.

“After sharing the video, I received a lot of nice comments and messages. People who have also seen this cat reached out to me,” Goksu said.

“It turns out that this stray male cat is constantly wandering around the Rossmann store, doing the same trick to different customers every time he gets hungry.”

Twitter user Bayirturbu wrote: “Is that Rossmann in Kadikoy? I fell into the same cat trap there!”

Ozlem wrote: “This cat is a regular here. He always waits in front of the food stand and makes people buy food. I fell into his trap, too.”

Goksu asked people to be more conscious about stray animals.

“I am an animal activist, and for two years I have been making videos with animals and sharing them on my social-media accounts to raise awareness,” he said.

Istanbul is often referred to as the City of Cats, or Catstanbul. It is home to a large feral cat population, with estimates ranging from 100,000 to more than 1 million.

Many Turkish citizens view stray cats as communally-owned pets. The country has a no-kill, no-capture policy.

We still don’t know if this feline moocher is a stray but it appears he is not going hungry.