Walk Through The Web Wednesday

Hello Furiends!

I hope everything is great in our neck of the woods but I know many of you are suffering with bad weather and we’re also purraying for our furiends in Turkey and Syria after the devastating earthquakes.. I’ve reported on the cat-friendly folks in Turkey and we are devastated by the loss of so many lives in those countries.

The beginning of a new month is always exciting as we look at all the monthly, weekly and daily holidays are celebrated. Here are a few we like and we hope you’ll enjoy them tool

It’s National Hot Breakfast Month. I urge you to celebrate every morning and don’t forget the bacon!

It’s National Pet Dental Health Month and this kitty is here to tell you, your humans need to keep an eye on your teeth! The Human took us for teeth cleaning and I had to have a tooth extracted (Oliver had three taken out)! It wasn’t fun but we feel so much better. Take care of your fangs!!

Oh my whiskers, this is a holiday I love to celebrate! National Pizza Day is coming up tomorrow (Feb. 9) so make sure your humans are celebrating (and sharing)! And get this, some places will even give you free or big discounts on pizza.

What better holiday for elegant, graceful felines to celebrate? World Ballet Day is February 7.
““Elegance wanted body and life, which is why it turned into a cat.”
– William IX, Duque of Aquitaine.

We hope you enjoyed our holiday celebrations and now, on to the news!

Sometimes you have to take initiative to get the job

You humans who are seeking employment could take a page from Buster’s book. Be bold, be persistant and be adorable! Follow Buster and all his adventures on Instagram: http://thedo.do/buster_and_brothers, and TikTok: http://thedo.do/Buster_and_brothers.

Cat’s job has him living in the worst weather but he isn’t bothered

This one is for all my fireplace loving, heat seeking furry furiends. This working cat Nimbus lives 6,288 feet above sea level at Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. This is one of the coldest places in the United States, with a historic storm raging last week that had winds whipping up to 120 mph and the thermometer dropping far below -32 Fahrenheit. Fortunately, the job of the feline in residence, Nimbus,  is indoor morale booster for the human scientists who live with him and who have to deal with the brutal weather outside.

Meteorologist Francis Tarasiewciz said Nimbus slept through most of the storm unlike Tarasiewciz who had to get hourly readings in the extreme cold. Tarasiewcz and the other observers, spend a week at a time at the 91-year-old mountaintop observatory that, in 1934, recorded a wind gust of 231 mph, which as a world record for decades.

Cats have been a part of the observatory family since its founding in 1932. Marty,  the observatory cat passed in late 2020. A search for a new observatory cat was launched with the help of the Conway Area Humane Society (CAHS). The summit cat is a special part of the living environment on the summit, and the feline presence makes the place feel more like a home during the week-long shifts.     

Nimbus sailed through the job interview, competing with three other cats from CAHS.  The gray coated feline’s name was inspired by the large gray clouds that bring precipitation. Nimbus was officially installed in  his job at the Observatory on April 14, 2021. He is described as a friendly, chatty cat.

Fancy Feast Creates ‘Cuddle Collection’ for People Spending Valentine’s Day with Their Cats

I don’t know about your humans, but ours does not have what she refers to as a “significant other” in her life at the moment (human that is). She will be enjoying some time with Oliver, Lily and I and she knows a number of people who will also be celebrating with their felines.

Purina recently did a survey that showed that 1 in 5 cat parents prefer to spend Valentine’s Day with their felines over their significant others. This is why the good folks at Purina created the Cuddle Collection as it gives all those humans who share their hearts and homes with felines something special designed to “celebrate the special bond between cats and their owners and give cat lovers a way to show their cats just how much they mean to them.

This feline says get your Cuddle Collection, available now at FancyFeast.com/cuddle, right meow!

Nissan’s “Knock,Knock” campaign designed to save felines

Once again, those wonderful, feline loving folks in Japan are looking out for cats. Japan’s recent spate of snow and freezing temperatures has forced the nation’s feline inhabitants to seek shelter. Unfortunately, some folks find cats hiding under the hoods and the tires of their cars, sometimes after it’s too late.

Japanese carmaker Nissan hopes its new campaign will save those lives. Tokyo officials say there are as many as 60,000 stray cats in the city, and cats hiding in and around cars is not a new problem. The Japan Automobile Federation launched a similar campaign a few years ago encouraging drivers to knock on the hoods of their cars, but the trend never caught on.

Now Nissan is ramping up the message in order to save cats.  “There are lives that can be saved with a bit of consideration,” is the message on the campaign website. Nissan’s new campaign encourages drivers to share information about the campaign on social media and to place a campaign bumper sticker on their car.  Two paws up Nissan!

When life gives you cats, make a Cat Camp

More than 50 cats have been dumped at an outdoor park in Texas. These cats wouldn’t have been able to survive on their own but Wesley Felts have taken on the cause of these felines and visits the outdoor Texas Park on a daily basis to feed and bring housing.

Felts says, “If I had my choice, I’d want each and every one of them to have a good home,” adding that very few animal shelters in the area will take in cats.

Since he’s started caring for the now 55 cats in the encampment, he’s taken three home with him.

During the arctic blast that hit parts of Texas in late December, residents in the area expressed concern over the cats’ wellbeing. “Feeling concerned for all the cats at Bailey’s this weekend,” one person wrote in a local Facebook group called “Let’s Make Bailey’s Great Again!”

Felts reassured her in the comments the cats were safe with shelters, blankets and hay, later adding that all the cats survived the freezing weather.

These cats have been dumped by people at the park and local experts are suggesting to anyone who finds a stray cat take it to a shelter. If that’s not possible, people should contact local animal control. Laying out some type of shelter and cat food is also okay. There are also trap-neuter-release programs that can be notified, which take cats from the wild, give them basic medical care, and stop future generations from growing up wild.

The recreational area where the cat camps are located is in Orange County near Beaumont. We hope Mr. Felts will find some shelters to take the cats and that local TNR people will help too.      

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 2/1

Happy February Furiends!

I hope all is good in your neck of the woods. It’s been C-O-L-D in our neck of the woods! Today the temperature climbed up to a balmy 15 degrees Fahrenheit!

Since it’s a new month, Oliver, Lily and I decided to celebrate some of the occasions that are celebrated in the month of February. Enjoy andn don’t forget to celebrate!

Oliver is less than enthusiastic that February is National Bird Feeding Month.

Lily wants to remind all her furiends to get their fangs checked during National Pet Dental Health Month.

As for me, I’m looking to celebrating National Hot Breakfast Month every day!

Date night is purrfect in San Diego

Date night has been made so much better for folks in San Diego. Whiskers and Wine may be the only full restaurant, bar and cat rescue in the country. For a $30.00 fee you can have the attendance of some meowvelous felines while you enjoy a delicious dinner and some cocktails like a Whisky Meower. Whiskers and Wine is a hit and, since it’s opening in August 2022, has helped 80 cats get adopted. And, if you visit them on Saturday or Sunday mornings, you can purrticipate in yoga with cats. .Be sure and watch the video of this great place!

Fighting or Play Fighting? Scientists study why cat’s wrestle with each other

The Human often gets frustrated with my brofur Oliver and I when we suddenly go after each oither. She can’t tell if we’re really fighting or play fighting.  Evedintely sh e’s not the only human who wonders about this.  A new study published in Scientific Reports has investigated play and fighting in cats.

The scientists used observation to see if they could figure out this conundrum.  The study, led by Noema Gajdoš-Kmecová from the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Slovakia and from the University of Lincoln, UK, analyzed 105 videos of interactions between 210 cats to find the answer.

After they purrused the videos, the research team then developed an ethogram – a list of specific behaviors and those were put into six groups:

  • Inactive: head and body motionless and in specific position, for example crouching
  • Wrestling: cats in physical contact with wrestling movements
  • Chasing: one cat runs in pursuit or another cat runs away
  • Other interactive activities: for example grooming, approaching, raised fur on back
  • Non-interactive: activity directed towards themselves or an inanimate object, for example drinking, self-licking
  • Vocalization: for example growl, hiss, meow

They went back and watched the videos again to identify which of their discovered behaviors were shown in the cats. Each interaction was then analyzed statistically to work out which behaviors appeared together in clusters.

They then separated the videos into three categories of interactions.

  • 1-Playful: included 40% of cats from the videos and included wrestling and a lack of vocalizing.
  • 2-Agonistic: agonistic behaviors (any social behaviors that include threatening, aggression, and submission). Cats in this group vocalized and had recurring bouts of inactivity; 32% of cats from the sample landed in this group.
  • 3-Intermediate: this group included 28% of cats and was more closely associated with the playful group than the agonistic group. Cats in this group interacted for prolonged periods with pauses in between.

The scientists also had cat behaviorists review the videos and their conclusions.  From their observations, the professionals provided some tips.

  • If your cats are wrestling,  they’re probably playing. Normally, when there is friction between cats in a multi-cat household, they tend to avoid physical contact. Instead, they’ll use offensive or defensive maneuvers that don’t involve extended direct contact, such as slapping. This is true with our Lily. She’ll walk by Oliver or I and give us a big whacky paw for no reason, and then she strolls off.
  • If your cats are vocalizing, and chasing between periods of inactivity (such as crouching), they are most likely fighting. Vocalization is an especially important clue here to an aggressive rather than playful interaction. Chasing is OK if it’s mutual, but if one cat is chasing or one cat is running away, that’s not so positive.
  • The intermediate group is the tricky one. It contains elements of both playful and agonistic behaviors, though but more closely related to the playful than the agonistic group. This suggests play could become agonistic, depending on what happens during the interaction.
  • In particular, the authors observed frequent breaks within the interaction, which may allow cats to reassess their partner’s interest in playing and avoid escalation from play to aggression.

This study is the first to apply a scientific approach to cat behaviors anybody can identify, describing three types of interactions to help identify between play and fighting in cats.

It’s pretty easy for humans to figure out when cats are really fighting but this study helps in working out what’s happening when it doesn’t appear to be a real cat fight.

It’s also important to understand the relationship between cats. If they are buddies, share food and for the most part friendly with each other, you can let them have a little antagonistic play without worrying.

Everyone has that one coworker…

After watching this video, I can’t believe that anyone would complain about this wonderful employee!

Vikings Helped Cats Conquer the World

Oliver the Great Viking

This feline loves to learn about the history of my ancestors. This article is about how . Vikings prized cats for two reasons: their rodent-hunting abilities and their coats. In other words, when felines started slacking on the mousing, they faced transformation into a cape or a coat. (Note, this was NOT part of the history I enjoyed!)

As felines traveled on the conquering Viking ships as they pillaged and murdered their way through the British Isles, Iceland, Europe, Greenland and North America many found homes in these new places. (Perhaps if they knew they were in danger of becoming a coat, some of them jumped ship!)

It’s a bit hard to picture these violent people with pets but it’s true, they purrfered cats!

And how did the fabulous feline get to Scandinavia you ask? Recent examination of feline DNA from archaeological sites dating to 15,000 to 2,700 years ago suggests the ancestors of today’s cats expanded across the world during two distinct periods, separated by millennia. The first migration event saw them move from the Middle East into the Mediterranean. There, local farmers welcomed our ancestors, pleased to have effective rodent-control services in their fields and crop storehouses.

Still, even this cat knows that the Mediterranean is a long way off from Northern Europe, Archaeologists say that happened thousands of years later and began in Egypt. At this point, seafarers knew the value of felines in keeping from setting up shop on their ships. Some of these sailors were Vikings   This was discovered in a Nordic site in Germany where scientists discovered cat DNA resembling that of ancient Egyptian felines.

 That second wave of cat migration began around 1700 B.C. and picked up significant speed by the A.D. 400s. This conclusion was reached after reseearchers worked with animal bones from the Bronze age to the 1600’s.

Perhaps the most fascinating insight discovered by the researchers was the physiological transformation felines underwent over the centuries. Typically, when animals get domesticated, they shrink in size. For example, the average dog is about one-quarter smaller than its wolf ancestors.

When it comes to felines, however, DNA shows something altogether surprising. Instead of getting smaller, “domestication” caused cats to balloon. (I resemble that remark!) We know that the Egyptians treated us as gods and that the Vikings fed us very well!  Thankfully that tradition continues today!