Well, we finally got through the “eternal computer upgrade” and have our Purrsonal Assistant on the job again, albeit it a day late. Sigh.
It’s been an interesting week in our neck of the woods and we, like many of our readers, are surrounded by fires. We’ve been putting our paws together and purraying for everyone in the west and hope there will be some rain soon. It was very windy in our neck of the woods and that didn’t help at all.
Some days I just want to hide under the cushions.
Oliver, on the other hand is happily celebrating one of his favorite holidays.
And now, on to the best feiline news on the internet this week!
The Japanese veterinarian, Yuki Hattori is known as “the Cat Savior” in Japan. His ability to decode feline behavior is amazing and he is so busy he saw 16,000 feline patients last year. People from all over Japan (and other countries) travel to his office for a consultation.
His blockbuster book, “What Cats Want” has now been translated into English so that more folks can avail themselves of his incredible insight into cat behavior.
Hattori has written 14 books about raising and treating house cats. And he believes that every tail swish, whisker twitch, ear flick and meow has meaning and is the cat’s attempt to communicate.
His book offers a chart of nine basic facial expressions (ranging from relaxed to aggressive) and 12 tail positions, each of which represents a mood (straight up for greetings, puffed to express anger, lowered for caution) to help humans “read” their felines). He also includes diagrams for room layouts that benefit felines of different ages.
Hattori followed in his father’s footsteps into veterinary practice. His fascination with and knowledge of cats began with a rescue feline named Unya who lived with him for 15 years.
Hattori says this about cats, “You respond to a cat’s needs, not the other way around.”
You can visit his veterinary clinic, the Tokyo Feline Medical Center on Facebook .
Dear humans, I have a newsflash for you. A recent study has shown that the purrsonality of your feline is greatly influenced by you! We felines bond with our humans like children bond with their parents.
Finka et al. (2019) focused on the well-studied Big Five Personality traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The owner’s personality traits were shown to affect the feline’s personality. For instance, an owner’s neuroticism may result in “chaotic and unstable home environments” that likely will affect the feline in the house. (Dear Female Human, take note!)
3331 cat owners (92% female) participated in Finka et al.’s study. Participants were required to have owned their cat for at least 6 months and answered questions and took personality tests.
Results revealed interesting links between the cat owner’s personality and the cat’s personality, lifestyle, and well-being. For instance, openness in the human resulted in the cats being friendlier and less aloof. Extroverts had friendlier, less aggressive cats and their cats were more likely to be normal weight felines.
The study also revealed interesting things regarding indoor versus outdoor cats.
The study is very comprehensive and interesting but the most important thing this feline got from the article is that the emotions of our humans definitely have an effect on us.
This is a cautionary tale that illustrates you can’t always judge a cat just because…he’s a cat. Take Mika for instance. Mika’s best friends are what other felines might consider to be dinner. Watch the video and you will see that Mika responds to his buddies in an unexpected way.
Nasrin Hami never expected to lose her cat to her husband but that’s exactly what happened. Jarvis, the Scottish Fold has decided that Nasrin’s husband is his human…his only human. To prove this, Jarvis will give Nasrin some serious stink eye if she gets too close. How could anyone be mad at that cute feline, even if he is a husband stealer. So humans, you may think your cat belongs to you but at the end of the day, the cat decides!
If you are one of my regular readers, you already know that Japan loves cats. I’ve reported on Japanese cat fashion designers, architects who design condos for cats and their humans, cat cafes, cat islands and much more. The interesting thing about the relationship between cats and the Japanese people is that there is much love but also much fear as there is folklore about monstrous, supernatural cats as well.
Zack Davisson, the author of Kaibyō: The Supernatural Cats of Japan has been researching cat lore for decades.
Davisson says the fact that cats exist in Japan is a mystery because no one knows how they got there although many speculate that felines traveled down the Silk Road from Egypt to China and Korea. The first documented record of a feline was written on March 11, 889 CE by the 17-year old Emperor Uda who began his diary entry by writing, “
“On the 6th Day of the 2nd Month of the First Year of the Kampo era. Taking a moment of my free time, I wish to express my joy of the cat. It arrived by boat as a gift to the late Emperor, received from the hands of Minamoto no Kuwashi.
The color of the fur is peerless. None could find the words to describe it, although one said it was reminiscent of the deepest ink. It has an air about it, similar to Kanno. Its length is 5 sun, and its height is 6 sun. I affixed a bow about its neck, but it did not remain for long.
He continues to wax eloquent about the feline and his description of his interaction with his cat could have been penned by a human today.
In the 12th century new writings appeared about a supernatural Japanese cat that was reported to be man-eating and two-tailed. It was called nekomato and lived in the woods. . According to local newspapers of the time, several hunters died in the jaws of the nekomata. Massive and powerful, they were more like two-tailed tigers than the pampered pets of Emperor Uda. In fact, the nekomata may have actually been a tiger.
But there was another supernatural feline that popped up in the 1600’s called bakeneko which was a shape changing feline.
Rumor had it that when these cats left their homes at night, they donned kimonos, pulled out sake and shamisen, and basically held wild parties before slinking back home at dawn. What naughty kitties!
These stories created a plethora of artistic representations of these shape changing kitties. And through time, more supernatural cats were “discovered”, even cat human hybrids.
The author says that Japan’s cat lore has been catnip for him which is how his book, Kaibyō: The Supernatural Cats of Japan was born. Even though that book was published in 2017, Davisson says that there is probably another Japanese cat folklore book on the horizon.