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!

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 – 11/9

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Well Hello There Furiends!
It’s been a rather chilly and blustery week in our neck of the woods. We had a surprise wind and snow storm and The Human says it’s like Siberia out there. Another human she knows said that instead of bemoaning the weather, she was going to be grateful for the new trampoline and lawn furniture she found in her yard (I told you it was a bad wind storm!)

While The Human did her civic duty yesterday and worked the polls, The Tribe suffered. We had to get up at 4am for our breakfast and before bed treats didn’t happen until 11:00pm. We were on the brink of starvation and Oliver was a bit miffed that the breakfast service was lacking.

And we were bored….soooooo bored so Ollie and Lilly entertained themselves by doing some interior decorating.

But life has returned to normal and The Human was able to come home and finish this post and some other work while we enjoyed treats and the fire.

This week’s web features will be a little shorter than usual but, being the thoughtful felines we are, we gave The Human a break.

Cat AWOL: New research shows 3 cats go missing every second – with 4 in 10 cats leaving home more than 5 times

Although I am not a wandering feline, I did find this study interesting. Did you know that In August in the UK there were 264,933 missing cats listed across five of the most popular missing pet websites, with 55% of cat owners saying their cat has gone missing at least once, with 22% saying their cat has left home at least five times.

This is a good reason to keep your felines inside as research across the five biggest missing pet websites reveals that 184 cats go missing every minute – and 3 each second.

Survey data from cat owners across the country revealed the top circumstances where cats go missing. These include when owners move house (11%), go away on holiday (10%), have builders in the home to renovate (9%) or get another pet (9%).

With more than half (53%) of Brits confessing they’d feed a cat who appeared in their garden, it’s no surprise many cats explore their surroundings for food, attention and adventures. (This is why The Human is always meowing about “THINK LOST NOT STRAY!”)

The good news is, 41% of people who reported a cat missing had them turn up again of their own accord. Of these felines, 18% of owners found their missing cat near their home, 16% received a call from someone local who found their cat, another 16% reported their cat had been found trapped in a shed or outbuilding, and 13% said they found their cat at an old home.

To explore what cats get up to when they are away from home, Admiral Pet Insurance partnered with Tractive GPS pet tracker.

Research conducted by Admiral Pet Insurance reveals that over a quarter of a million cats are currently missing in the UK. The data gathered by the insurer originates from the National Pet Register, Pets Located, Pets Reunited, Animal Search and the Blue Cross, where collectively there are 264,933 cats listed as missing.

Over 60% of the cats listed as missing were male, with an additional 27,000 more male cats listed as missing than females. Of the 11,000 missing cats listed on the National Pet Register, over 7,000 were microchipped; however the remaining 4,628 were not.

In December 2021, the British government announced a new law that will require cat owners to get their cat microchipped to help reunite missing cats with their owners. Pritpal Powar, head of pet at Admiral Insurance comments: “It’s important to ensure your cat is microchipped as it’s a great way to help missing cats be reunited with their owners.

“Microchipping is a safe, simple procedure for animals and the microchip lasts a lifetime, but remember to update the information if you change address.” Note-all of our Tribe is microchipped.

Black cats are most commonly reported missing, with over 85,000 black cats currently at large, making up 33% of the total missing cat population. A quarter (25%) of all missing cats are white and 13% are brown.

In addition, 72% of the cats reported missing had monotone coats, for instance a fully black, white or brown cat, which could suggest cats with easily identifiable coat markers are reunited with their owners sooner, resulting in fewer listings for cats with mixed color coats, now that’s interesting.

On average, male cats spend 5 hours active per day, while female cats were only active for an average of 3 hours per day. In this time, they also travel further than the female cats in the experiment, who tended to explore the same areas but spend more time there.

Cat expert, Lucy Hoile comments: “Male cats are naturally more active and maintain a wider territory than females due to their innate drive to find mating opportunities. The more ground they cover, the more females they are likely to encounter.

Due to their increased activity levels, male cats were also found to burn on average 19% more calories than female cats. (Hmm, if that’s true why does Lily weigh only 8 pounds?)

Fearful cats also express other problematic behavior: Socialization important already at early stages of life

A new research study about fearful cats was recently concluded. “We wanted to find out what factors are associated with the problematic behavior of cats, such as fearfulness, aggression towards humans and excessive grooming. We utilized a survey dataset previously collected in our research, which we have already used to investigate the construction of the feline personality,” says Doctoral Researcher Salla Mikkola from the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center

The survey included more than 120 statements used to score feline traits.

The fearfulness factor included statements on the cat’s reaction to strangers, sudden noises and changes taking place at home. Aggression towards humans included scratching or attempts to bite in conjunction with care, such as when being brushed. Excessive grooming included extensive and intensive grooming as well as self-mutilation by pulling hairs off with teeth, or by biting or licking.

“We investigated the link between these problematic behavioral and personality traits, and almost 30 behavioral, environmental and biological factors. For example, the socialization of cats with humans was associated with fearfulness. Cats who had come into contact with unfamiliar adults and children under 12 weeks of age only a few times or not at all were more fearful than cats who met strangers on a weekly or daily basis. Fearful cats also received, on average, higher scores for litterbox issues, aggression and excessive grooming,” Mikkola says.

Prior studies have also shown that fearfulness can lead to aggressive behavior, such as hissing and biting, if the cat sees no other way out of a frightening situation. No direct causalities can be established on the basis of the data.

“There were less aggression and fearfulness in households with more than one cat, but we cannot say for certain why this is. It may be that the companionship of other cats is an important stimulus for cats, or alternatively, people don’t want to take a mate for their aggressive cat due to its nature. Research carried out through a different design is needed to explain causalities,” says Professor Hannes Lohi.

Professor Lohi’s group will conduct research on feline litterbox issues in the near future. I say it’s about time those sciency people studied us amazing felines!


Cat’s GPS Reveals His Deepest Secret 

This cat’s mom hired an electronic “private detective” to find out what her feline has been up to. If you want to follow Bernie’s adventures you can check him out on Instagram

Beloved cat’s eviction from Vancouver grocery store sparks petitions

Mickey is a black and white cat that lived at Top Ten Produce until recently. Alas, the rules regarding cats in grocery stores are clear and after Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) received a complaint, the West Point Grey grocer had to bid the feline farewell. Luckily, Matthew MacDonald, the store’s manager, had space for Mickey at his home.

However, staff and their neighbors want Mickey to stay at the store, where he fills a variety of roles, from pest control to mascot to therapy cat. Mickey is a very multi-talented cat.

“I try not to watch people when they’re interacting with him because some of the interactions are so deep and people are really into him,” MacDonald told Vancouver Is Awesome. “He makes people feel special.”

Mickey arrived at Top Ten a couple of years ago, after a friend-of-a-friend found they couldn’t provide a good home for him. “We thought we had a better place for him, a better environment,” MacDonald says.

At first he was a bit of a scaredy-cat, but the store had lots of nooks for him to shelter in, and he became more comfortable with the human visitors. He also took on the job of mouser; when Top Ten faced a rodent issue a couple of years ago.

So far, no order has been given, but VCH has done an educational visit.

“The operation of food premises in B.C. is a regulated activity under the Public Health Act and an operator must not permit live animals to be on the premises. There are exceptions for service dogs and live fish in an aquarium,” a VCH spokesperson tells V.I.A.

They note the “use of live animals is also not a recognized component of an integrated pest management program for controlling pests in food premises.” Well as my feline granny used to say, “BALDERDASH!”

There has been a large wave of support for Mickey. So far, around 3,000 people have signed the online petition. When discussions with VCH continue, MacDonald says he’ll ask how to move forward.

However, he’s worried that while other shop animals fly under the radar, Mickey’s newfound fame may be to his detriment. “I’d like Mickey to stay here, but I’m scared. I feel this publicity means he cannot stay here.” And there you go; fame does have its problems.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – On Thursday – 11/3

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
I do apologize that I’m a day late with my feature but I did manage to obtain a little gift for you all as an apology for this (more on that in a bit).

We are in the full throes of autumn here in our neck of the woods and that means much cooler weather, even in the house. The Human keeps meowing about the budget and she has installed a thing called a “nest”. Although we’ve combed the hou8se searching for said “nest” we still haven’t found one but we understand it is to blame for keeping the temperature a frosty 64 during the day. Oh the horrible circumstances we are forced to live under! The temperature situation has forced us to put aside our differences and cuddle up.

Oliver felt a certain way about Halloween. Lily and I hung out in the bedroom but Ollie insisted on staying in the living room and running under the table every time the door bell rang.

And now for the little surprise. My regular readers have followed Oliver’s quest to keep the fall leaves under control but alas, we were having a sunny, non-windy fall and there was no leaf danger. That has changed and, in order to immortalize Oliver’s brave defense of our home, The Human put together this video. We hope you enjoy.

That’s it for us, I hope you enjoy this week’s news items.

Cats May Be Harboring Crime Scene DNA, Scientists Say

You may be wondering why I’ve included this in my news report but I was intrigued and so was The Human as she’s about three chapters away from finishing a cozy mystery she’s writing that includes Oliver and myself in the story and she is considering adding this twist to the story,

Evidently new research has recognized that we felines can be sources of evidence in crimes. How is that you ask? Well the fur of a cat can retain enough DNA shed by  a human who has been in their vicinity that it can serve as evidence. So, even though we felines can’t point our paw at the perpetrator and say, “He did it!”, we have other ways of helping to catch the bad guys,

This study is the first to examine how household pets can contribute to DNA transfer and there’s a lot more work to be done but it presents another opportunity to help in crime solving.

“Collection of human DNA needs to become very important in crime scene investigations, but there is a lack of data on companion animals such as cats and dogs in their relationship to human DNA transfer,” says forensic scientist Heidi Monkman of Flinders University in Australia.

“These companion animals can be highly relevant in assessing the presence and activities of the inhabitants of the household, or any recent visitors to the scene.”

In recent years, DNA analysis technology has become so sophisticated that even the most minute traces of genetic material can be relevant for a crime scene investigation. And we messy humans leave our DNA everywhere. Even just brief contact with an object can transfer traces of our genetic material.

Touch DNA obtained from a surface doesn’t even require that the human to touch that surface.  It can be transported by a number of means, in skin cells or hairs that drift from a passing body, for example. Which is where we felines may play a role.

Monkman and her Flinders University colleague Mariya Goray, an experienced crime scene investigator, teamed up with forensic scientist Roland van Oorschot of the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department in Australia to see if they could extract traces of readable human DNA from pet cats.

Their study was conducted on 20 cats from 15 households. At the homes of the study participants, the researchers swabbed the fur on the right side of each cat twice, and collected DNA samples from the study participants. The humans also filled out questionnaires about the daily behavior of the felines in their homes.

Detectable levels of DNA were found in 80 percent of the cat swab samples. For all cats, there was no significant difference between the amount of DNA present, and the time since last contacted by a human, or length of hair on the cat.

The team was able to generate DNA profiles from 70 percent of the cats in the study that could be interpreted well enough to be linked to a human. Most of the DNA was from people in the cat’s own household, but on six of the felines, only unknown human DNA was detected (makes me wonder what strangers were touching those cats!)

One case was cited as being particularly interesting from a two-cat, two-person household. One of the cats, a hairless sphynx, carried the DNA of an unknown third human. The other cat, a short-haired ragdoll, did not. Both cats had interacted equally with the humans in their household.

Possible sources could include direct transport of the DNA from a human, such as by patting, or by the cat brushing against a contaminated surface. The DNA could also have been lingering since the last time the cat had contact with a visitor.

Further research is needed and will be done but in the meantime, if you are planning on committing any crimes…STAY AWAY FROM THE CAT! 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Cats Photoshopped being offended by salad

Those of you who follow this blog know what delight The Human takes in photoshopping our Tribe so why should other humans be any different? These images of cat’s “reactions” to salad are pretty hilarious.

Pet owners believe that cats have five different personality types

I have a tendency to get a bit “hissy” when humans attempt to put felines and their behavior in a box.

Solid Gold commissioned a study about feline purrsonaities which was conducted by OnePoll. Participants were asked to define the personality types their cat’s exhibited.

Over half (53%) said their cats were true “revenge seekers” when they hunt down their toys or hiss at the outside world. Nearly as many (52%) said their cats were “tornadoes” infamous for knocking items off of counters and causing a mess of mischief wherever they go.

Cat owners also have a near 50/50 shot of ending up with a “climber (51%) clawing their way up to the highest points of the home, or a “cuddler” (49%) who shamelessly lay across keyboards or piles of clean laundry to get some affection.

The study also found 65% swear their cats act like they’re from a completely different planet. A good portion of that sentiment comes from the strange things owners have caught their cats in the middle of.

Nearly four in five “cuddlers” (78%) are seen as complete angels by their owners when they’re not causing any trouble and 71% of “graffiti artists” are anything but angels when the havoc they bring has to be repaired or replaced by distressed owners.Solid Gold / SWNS / OnePoll

Many shared the wildest behaviors they’ve witnessed from their felines: gifting owners with their “kills” in the form of cat toys and pinecones, begging for bananas or learning to turn door knobs to get into rooms.

“We love our cats because of how unique their personalities can be,” said Steve Ball, CEO at Solid Gold. “No matter what kinds of chaos they bring, there’s no denying the things we would do for our furry friends. At the end of the day, pet parents want to make sure their cats are able to be their unique selves for as long as possible.”

Despite all the drama they cause, 70% of cat owners said there’s “nothing” they would change about their cat. 

It seems all the frustration caused can be cured when cats turn cute, which according to those polled, is wherever they’re playing (50%), eating (40%), purring (37%) or sleeping (37%).

More than three in five (63%) said nothing is more exciting to them than mealtime for their cat. At feeding time, cats are most likely to let their humans know they’re ready when they meow (49%), paw (37%) or headbutt (34%).

“Mealtime is a universal ‘stop-destroying-the-home-and-come-eat’ moment for cats,” continued Ball. “It’s so important to make sure your cat is getting the proper holistic nutrition they need in order to get back to doing what they do best.”

While I find all this interesting, I still believe each feline is unique and trying to paint us all with the same brush is just wrong.

Beautiful Video Proves Adopting Two Cats Is Better Than One

Brothers forever!

My brother Oliver and I are thankful that we were adopted together and this rescue story is great!

TikTok user @ZeroandOllie are a perfect illustration of why sometimes two cats are better than one. Adopted cats can be nervous in their new home and having a litter mate with them can help a feline adjust so much faster. 

Sometimes the cats look like brothers. Sometimes they are like Oliver and I, nothing alike but bonded by love nonetheless. I can’t recommend enough that you consider giving two siblings a furever home!

Scientists working on new experimental cat allergy shot that may provide longer-lasting relief

There may be a cure for humans who get sneezy around felines.

Scientists at UCLA say they’ve tested a new form of treatment that might allow people to tolerate symptoms of cat allergies.

After a year, researchers found that those who received a combined therapy of tezepelumab and regular cat allergy shots had maintained resistance against allergic reactions. 

Now I don’t know about you, but I am no fan of the Stabby place and getting stabbed and The Human feels the same way.

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 – 10/11

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
I hope your week is going well. We had a good day with the book launch which leads me to a shameless bit of self promotion. For today’s launch, Baker Books is offering a limited amount of gifts with purchase so you can buy a Christmas present and get a present for yourself!

Baker Books is offering a limited amount of free Christmas cards with book purchase.

It’s getting cool enough in our neck of the woods for some fireplace time. The important thing about this photo is that LIly is finally joining us. Photo #1 shows how tentative she is. Photo #2 shows she’s finally relaxing.

The other day I was snoopervising The Human in the kitchen and she YELLED at me. Sheesh, what an ingrate!

And finally, I bring you the sad tale of Oliver and the invisible falling leaves. Oliver still hasn’t grasped the idea that those leaves have to be very yellow before they blow off the trees.

And lest you think Oliver’s leaf chasing obsession is dumb or no fun, take a look at how much he has enjoyed it in the past.

Well, that’s it for our news in this neck of the woods. Hope you enjoy this week’s news and enjoy fall in your neck of the woods.

Caring Cat Steps In To Raise An Orphaned Baby Bobcat

Workers from the  Millstone Wildlife Center in New Hampshire were alerted to a baby bobcat who’d been abandoned by her mother. When they found the 6-week old kitten she was in good physical health but cried constantly for her mother.

The kitten’s  rescuers got in touch with Spicy Cats, a rescue and rehabilator for feral felines. One of their feline residents, Honeybun was an expert in fostering as she had raised several litters of kittens that were not her own.

Raising a wild kitten was a new endeavor for Honeybun but as Caroline, the president of Spicy Cats told the Dodo, “ She’s very, very maternal and patient so we knew she’d be perfect for the bobkitten,”

The kitten’s crying soon stopped as she accepted Honeybun’s mothering and Honeybun was patient with the rambunctious kitten.

Despite providing love and care for the bobkitten, Honeybun won’t be able to teach her the skills she’ll need to survive in the wild so she will only have a “baby nanny” role. When the kitten is ready, she’ll be placed with another bobcat at the Millstone Wildlife Center and a spring release is planned.

The kitten’s future success is due to the wonderful humans at the Millstone Wildlife Center, Spicy Cats and especially to foster mom Honeybun.

Runaways and dramatic entrances: here are some of the city’s favorite cats

This is a delightful tale of the cat loving folks in Norwich England. There are some famous felines that the community embraces as their own like Budge, who resides in the Cathedral grounds. Budge has been caught napping in the nativity scene during the Christmas season.  Since he first visited the Cathedral in 2018 at the Good Friday service, he has been in the habit of making his visits a daily thing.

Another famous Norwich kitty is Wendy, the deaf cat who went on a 15-mile adventure after sneaking into the back of a delivery van.  She had all her fans worried until she turned up in Tasburgh five days after she went missing.

The good folks of Norwich also are known to rally around humans who have felines with needs like Peppa who was adopted by eight-year old Savannah Baum. Peppa was in desperate need of dental surgery at the cost of UKL 1,140. (The Human shuddered when she read this part having just paid for dental surgery for Lily and Oliver). The wonderful people of Norwich donated to the operation so Peppa could stay healthy and she and Savannah could have many more years together.

Note to all my feline furiends in the UK, if you’re in need of a place to live, might I suggest Norwich?

Larry the cat takes on fox outside No 10

And speaking about England, our furiend Larry the Cat is in the news again.  As I have previously reported, Larry’s title is chief mouser to the Cabinet Office,  and now he’s been sighted taking on much larger prey when  he takes on a fox.

The fox, looking worse for the wear retreats from Larry’s aggressive moves.

If you’re wondering what Larry the former Battersea Dogs and Cats Home feline who was hired based on recommendation for his mousing skills, does besides chasing vermin and foxes, his other duties include greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defenses and testing antique furniture for napping quality.

A poet, a doctor, a muse: Meet the bookstore cats of Philadelphia

If you can’t travel to Norwich, England to visit their felines, you can stay on this side of the ocean and visit the famous bookstore cats of Philadelphia.  If Philadelphia doesn’t work for you don’t despair, there are bookstore cats in other cities. For instance, over 55,000 people follow the New York City-based Instagram account @bookstorecats, which is dedicated to showing off felines residing at independent bookstores all over, from Missouri to Texas to Hawaii.

But I’m talking about the Philly bookstore cats so here goes.

Molly’s Bookstore and Records on South 9th Street has a customer service feline in their employ. The cat, Mrs. Stevenson, sits in the window, raising her paw to greet patrons and invite people in to the store. Her humam employer refers to her as a people magnet, drawing people into the store. Mrs. Stevenson was named after a character in a Canadian comedy show.

Millie, the feline worker at The Last Word Bookshop at 220 S. 40th St. spends much of her time in the lap of the shop owner. When she’s not there, you can often find her in her kitty hammock near the local history section, hiding under the children’s book table or chilling at the checkout counter. Millie’s predecessor Lester, crossed The Rainbow Bridge in the spring of 2021 after he’d been a loyal employee for 15 years. Millie’s owner was being moved to an assisted living community so the bookstore hired her and never looked back. Millie settled in to her new home and has many fans who come into the shop just to see her.

Found lounging around the Friends of the Free Library’s bookstore at 311 N. 20th St., Geoffrey Chaucer — or just Chaucer, for short. He took up residence in the store when he was two and now he’s a handsome 10-year old feline. His human employers and coworkers love him. He has a few designated food and napping stations around the store and sometimes, when he’s had enough of people, will hide away on a bed beneath the bookshelves.

There are a few clues at The Book Trader at 7 N 2nd St that will alert you to the fact that you will find a feline employee inside. The tree outside has a sign that reads, CATS ONLY, PLEASE” and as you approach the door you’ll see a little speech bubble affixed to the glass that reads, “CAUTION: Please don’t let frisky cat outside! Thank you.” The “frisky” cat, Dr. Abraham Pickles is rather lazy and spends more time gazing out the windows or sleeping rather than tryig to escape.  The 6-year  old Dr. Pickles, has lived in the store for half his life.  Dr. Pickles is pretty friendly to customers, but he doesn’t hesitate to give someone the whacky paw if they pet him too much. The store sells Dr. Pickles post cards and if you can’t get to Philadelphia to meet him you can follow his adventures on Instagram.
https://www.instagram.com/thedrpicklesofbooktrader/

Not every cat is cut out to be a bookstore employee and that was made clear to to Spiral Bookcase (4257 Main St. in Manayunk)owner Victoria Mier when she took store cat Calliope home with her during the pandemic.

When the previous feline employee, Amelia, crossed over The Rainbow Bridge several years ago, Calliope arrived one day when the bookstore was doing an adoption event.

Calliope — who’s now a 7- or 8-year-old Torby — was pretty shy and hid behind stacks of books for her few months but adjusted and loved to do figure-eights (accompanied by loud meows) around people’s feet to get their attention.

During the shut down, the bookstore owner took Calliope home with her. The feline loved it there and was more comfortable than she had been in the store. Although Calliope is retired now or, as some suggest, she’s not retired, just working from  home.

Cosplay isn’t just for Humans

The Human has furiends that enjoy cosplay but she never knew felines enjoyed it too.  I would rather eat tasteless kibble for a week than be forced to wear any kind of a costume but I know there are cats out there who don’t mind the occasional outfit. We choses a few of our favorites but don’t forget to click on the link in the heading to find you favorites. Or go directly to the Cat Cosplay Twitter account to find out what’s new.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 10/05

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
Fall is here and we love the cozy weather, especially when The Human comes home and turns on the fireplace for us for a little while.

The Human bought us a drinking fountain. Lily and I are cutting it a wide swath but it’s early days yet and frankly, I don’t see the need to drink from that thing when I have The Human trained to turn on the bathroom faucet for me. Oliver is an early adaptor and he was the first to check it out and and he drinks out of it. Lily and I are in “wait and see” mode.

Speaking of The Human, she had some work to do at home and I love helping her. Here’s a little slide show about my position as her purrsonal assistant.

The Human asked Lily if she’d model her new collar (made from kimono fabric) since we talked about it last week. Lily took the meowdeling session quite seriously.

And then there’s the magical day that The Human caught Ollie and I snuggling Lily (we rarely allow any photos of these events).

And finally, one of the rarest photos of all, all three of us in one shot!

Well, that’s it for the happenings in our neck of the woods. And now the news.

Michigan man’s cats are tallest and have longest tail in the world, Guinness World Records says

Oliver wanted to use this news item to campaign to end his D-I-E-T but after purrusing the story I had to give him the sad news that “biggest” as described in this article is not girth, but length and height.

Two cats who live in Detroit have received the Guinness World Records declaration as the tallest and longest feline tail

Will Powers who owns the cats has a history of having big felines. Two of his previous cats hold the all-time records for tallest cat and cat with the longest tail before both perished in a fire. 

Now, Fenrir Antares Powers which is a Savannah breed, and Altair Cygnus Powers which is a Maine Coon breed, have taken over the record of the largest living cats in terms of height and tail length.

“Call him the Big Chungus or the Chonk, he just grew and grew like Clifford the Big Red Dog,” Powers said in an interview with Guinness World Records, talking about Fenrir. 

Fenrir is 18.83 inches tall. He comes from a long line of massive house cats and is the current record holder for tallest living cat. Powers says he is very loving, very outgoing, and he’s often used as a therapy animal at Powers pet rescue.

He also has a voracious appetite and is known for grabbing food off the counter – something only a cat with his size could pull off. He can even open doors when he wants to walk through the home. 

The other cat, Altair is also called ‘The Floofus” due to his long and very fluffy tail which measures at 16.07 inches. His personality is a bit different from the other five cats that live with Powers. He loves cuddles and being held.

Maine Coon cats reach their maximum growth at age 5, Altair is not 5 yet so who knows how long his tail will end up being.  

We have asked The Human to get out the tape measure and see how tall we are and how long our tails are. We’ll report back next week.

Tiny kitten in Sarasota, Florida, is a Hurricane Ian survivor as shelter misses worst of storm

There are many stories of wonderful humans caring for and saving kitties during and after Hurricane Ian. We especially liked this story. A small staff  at an animal shelter in Sarasota, Florida, managed to take care of over 100 cats and a four-day-old kitten even in the midst of the horrible storm,.

At Cat Depot in Sarasota, staff members hunkered down inside the shelter overnight as wind banged at their windows amid the hurricane. Some water did make its way inside the building. One of the workers said, “[It was] dripping off … and then collecting it into the litter box at the bottom,”

The people there mopped and cleaned all night.  The center has a steel roof which is great for surviving a hurricane but lousy for peace and quiet and the cats were bombarded with much noise. The cats had places to hide and the staff put up sound adsorbing material to counter the noise.

Insulation on the roof partly came off, some items inside like dishes and laundry facilities were lost and the hot water and power in the building went out. Needless to say the staff got little-to-no sleep the night Ian hit.

Cat Depot also opened its building to the public if anyone wanted to drop off their animals as they braced for the storm. They are hoping to reopen on Saturday

The nonprofit relies on community donations and volunteers, and the cleanup process takes all hands on deck. The staff is grateful they missed the worst of Ian — and that all the animals are safe. Paws Up to these wonderful humans!!

Whiskers & Wine has been promoted as the first full-service cat lounge, bar and restaurant in America

As soon as we found this article, The Human said, “sign me up”. The owner of Whiskers and Wine, Nicole Smith said her vision was to build a place for the community to gather, while having food and drinks, surrounded by adoptable cats. With specialty cocktails like Jaz’s Pearfect Meowtini, Nick’s Whiskey Meower and the Peach Pussycat, the space is dedicated to felines down to the decor and the rooftop lounge where cats can catch some sun.

The cats come from Saving One Life, an animal rescue group dedicated to giving shelter and medical care to stray, abandoned and surrendered felines until they find permanent adoptive homes.

Just to make sure that people don’t get tipsy and decide to take a cat home rightaway there’s an adoption application to make sure that the kitties go to furever homes.

All the food and drinks are prepared behind glass, and there is a separate area where guests can watch the cats, but almost everyone enjoys the up-close company of cats.

The Human says this is her purrfect idea of a date, too bad it’s too far to get to San Diego from Northern Idaho!

It only costs $30 to reserve your cat therapy session and you can spend 90 minutes hanging out with the cats while enjoying food and drinks. Meowza, what a fun time! If any of our furiends live in San Diego and visit Whiskers & Wine, meow at us and let us know what  you thought.

Big dog obsessed with cats gets his own feline

Archie the Samoyed is so obsessed with cats that he insists on greeting every feline he sees. Even when he’s at doggy daycare surrounded by other dogs, he begs to go outside to watch the cats for hours on end, which they call his “Cat TV.” His humans finally caved and got Archie his very own kitten. .It took  B the kitten a little time to get used to Archie, but now they go on walks together and cuddle as well. To keep up with Archie & B, follow along on TikTok https://thedo.do/archieandbTT

“Headless” cats win photo award

The Comedy Pet Photo Awards has announced the winners of the 2022 competition with top honors going to Kenichi Morinaga with his photo of two cats sitting on a fence that makes them appear as if they are headlessly conjoined.

The photo, titled Boom! Boom! depicts a cartoon-like connection of two cats, beat out about 2,000 other entries to take the top prize, some of which were shown in the list of finalists published in July. The photographer is from Japan and says he enjoys visiting the small islands around his country and taking photos of the street cats he finds there.

This photo was also picked as the winner of the Best Cat photo category, took home the £2,000 cash prize, plus a £5,000 donation from Animal Friends Pet Insurance that goes to an animal welfare or conservation charity of his choice.

He says that after much deliberation, he decided to make his donation to The Cat Welfare Group, an organization based on the U.K’s South Coast that helps rescue and re-home stray and abandoned cats.

The Comedy Pet Photo Awards says that judging this year was the closest it has ever seen, with just 10 points separating the top six places and seven different countries were represented in the Category Winners, which are listed below.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday – 9/14

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
We had some excitement in our neck of the woods when the mail human brought a package to our house from the Tooth Fairy by way of our good furiends at 15 and Meowing. While we loved the contents of the package The Human (and myself who was thankful they remembered me) loved the note! Thanks so much for these great tooth soothing toys!

We all took off with one of the toys. Oliver is shown below enjoying the one he snagged.

The Human had to take Oliver back to the stabby place for the white coat people to check his progress after his dental surgery. Oliver (and I) purfer to ride in the passenger seat in our vests and leash than to be stuffed inside a carrier. As you can see Oliver did quite well.

All went well until The Human pulled into the parking lot of the stabby place. Oliver is no fool, he knew where he was.

How could you??!!

All went well at the check up. There are still a few stitches that need to dissolve but all in all the little guy has recovered nicely. He has returned to his snoopervisor position on the counter to oversee The Human making dinner. Also, Oliver has slimmed down to a svelte 18 1/2 pounds but he is working hard on getting those pounds back as his mouth heals.

Let me know before you start chopping the onions.

I hope things have been going well in your neck of the woods and now, this week’s feline news.

A cartoon video of the history of cats

This is a great (and fun) review of how we felines ended up all over the world and why we are so much like our ancient ancestors.

A cat who’s obsessed with potatoes – and why

In an attempt to gain some of their cat’s affection away from her husband, a woman plans  a strange tactic to gain his love back. Needless to say, this story intrigued us as we are Idaho felines (although we’re nowhere near where they grow potatoes!)

Neighborhood cats become famous video stars

Whenever Chris Watson walks his neighborhood and says, “Here, kitty-kitty,” cats come running. Chris is a cat whisperer, a Pied Piper of felines, Catluminati. Watson  has become a social media sensation, racking up millions of views of videos showing his near-daily cat walking ritual. He says,. “I just walk through Tacoma neighborhoods, and I find cats that are friendly, and then I kneel down to them to get them to come visit, and I pet them on camera”

His intentional cat petting has garnered him  1.6 million followers on TikTok and 118,000 follows on Instagram. One of his videos, of an unusually patterned cat who exchanges kisses with him, has been viewed 15.6 million times and has 21,000 comments.

Watson has been able to quit his job as an ad producer and shift to Catluminati as his full-time job. He makes his money through sponsorships. He also sells Catluminati merchandise including T-shirts and hoodies. Watson wouldn’t say how much he makes but called it a comfortable income.

“It’s more than I’ve ever made in my life,” he said. At this point, I could hear The Human mumbling about how The Tribe should be earning some money too.

Watson recently adopted a tabby named Scamper and he also does feline charity work. He’s raised funds to help sick cats, alerted the public to missing cats and promotes nonprofits that aid, foster and provide felines for adoption. He doesn’t know where Catluminati will take him next, but he vows he will never lose the spontaneity that has made him a success. “If you’re enjoying yourself while you’re doing what you’re doing, other people are going to enjoy it too,” Watson said. “That’s one thing I’m never going to leave behind — the fun.”

Getting purrlitical at No. 10

Last week I featured Larry the Cat’s campaign to be Prime Minister of England but Larry doesn’t have to be PM to reside at No. 10 Downing Street. Moments after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulled out of Downing Street for the last time on Tuesday, a familiar brown-and-white tabby slipped out of the door of No. 10 and perched on the doorstep.

Larry the Cat was staking his claim to Downing Street, as the fourth prime minister (under Larry’s watch) prepared to move in.

Larry will greet the house’s next occupant, Liz Truss, when she arrives on Tuesday afternoon, as he did Mr. Johnson and his predecessor, Theresa May, when they took up residency. .He arrived in 2012 as a rescue stray to be a pet for the children of Prime Minister David Cameron. In subsequent years, he was given the exalted title of chief mouser to the Cabinet Office, a post he has carried out with mixed results, depending on who is passing judgment.

In his farewell remarks, Mr. Johnson gave Larry a shout out, noting that he had overcome an initially adversarial relationship with the family dog, Dilyn.

“If Dilyn and Larry can put behind them their occasional differences,” Mr. Johnson declared, “then so can the Conservative Party.”

Larry is part of a long tradition of cats in the British government. For centuries, the feline employees have tackled rodent problems in the halls of power, although it was not until the late 1920s that records of payments for their upkeep started, when the Home Office made a request for a penny a day for cat food. (I bet The Human wishes prices for cat food are would be that low today!)

As Britain awaited updates on a post-Brexit trade deal, Larry managed to get people’s minds off the deal when he found himself  embarking on an ambitious (and failed) attack on a pigeon.

Much like other occupants of No. 10, Larry has not escaped criticism of his job performance. British tabloids called him “Lazy Larry,” when Downing Street officials had to call in pest control to supplement his efforts. He also developed an antagonistic relationship with the Foreign Office’s own mouser, Palmerston, who has since retired from public duty.

For the last few years, Larry’s comings and goings have been a media staple for cameras waiting for news outside Downing Street. He has become a social media presence, with his own Twitter account that posts occasionally snarky observations about rotating cast of prime ministers who occupy the house.

Larry even figured in the Conservative Party leadership race. During a campaign event in August, Ms. Truss, Britain’s foreign secretary, noted that she had an “extremely positive” relationship with Larry, saying: “He frequently sidles up to me. I think I’m one of his preferred cabinet ministers.”

I believe Ms. Truss paid attention to Larry’s popularity and she suggested that the cat’s place in Downing Street will be secure. Clearly Ms. Truss is a wise woman, at least when it comes to cats.

Walk Through the Web Wednesday – 9/7

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
First, Oliver would like to thank you all for the get well wishes. He really apurreciated them. He had a rough few days but he’s back to his old sassy self now.

As The Human was playing nurse to Ollie most of last week and getting up at ungodly hours (and rousting Lily and I from our sleeping positions on the bed) she didn’t manage to capture any new photos of us so I thought this would be a purrfect time to feature Lily’s Remember Me Thursday video and brag that this little video won a Certificate of Excellence from The Cat Writer’s Association.

On September 22, 2022, the entire world  shared the importance of pet adoption, and shine a light on all orphan pets waiting in shelters and rescues. Since its inception in 2013, Remember Me Thursday® has made more than 2 billion impressions on social media.

On #RememberMeThursday, love your rescue and help others #SeeTheLight. It’s up to you to spread the word. We’ll be celebrating again this year and hope you’ll join us!

I hope you enjoyed Lily’s story and that you enjoy this week’s news stories.

Stray Cat Island is ‘purrfect’ place for animal welfare

Now here’s a concept I can get behind. Shanghai’s first cat island is open and housing 20 stray cats and preparing to accommodate 200-300 in the future.  The island has interactive activities for visitors and is also serving as an adoption center.

Those wanting to adopt are required to volunteer some time at the shelter and time to get to know the cats they want to bring home. This is to mitigate the possibilities that the cats will be abandoned and that they will have forever homes.

Paws up to the wonderful people that created his sanctuary!

Twitter users delighted to see billboards announcing Larry the cat’s bid for PM

I do not like purrlitical stories as they often result in much hissing and fuzzy tails but this story has to be shared. Larry the cat is appearing on billboards all around London announcing that the No. 10 Downing Street’s Chief Mouser has thrown his collar into the ring to run for prime minister.

While most humans opine that either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, of the Conservative Party will be the winner the #Larry4Leader organization is making sure he is considered in the race.

Larry was only four years old when he was adopted from Battersea Dogs and Cats home to begin his new life in politics and has served as a trusted companion to three prime ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May and the outgoing PM, Boris Johnson. That means that Larry has more purrlitical experience at the highest level than the two humans running against him.

Larry’s campaign team is making his purrlitical positions clear which include, “responsible hiss-cal policy” and “no lying in No. 10 unless it’s on a comfy cushion.”

If you want to know more about Larry’s campaign you can visit his website.

There is a website, www.larry4leader.com, dedicated to Larry’s political efforts.

Lana’i Cat Sanctuary hosts yoga with Cats

Two paws up for the humans who supported Lana’i Cat Sanctuary at their cat yoga session on the lawn of its shelter. The non-profit incurs costs of almost a million dollars a year to house the 680 cats that live there. They bring in about 200 new feral cats every year but they also adopt out about 100 cats a year.

This little island sanctuary that does so much good for felines doesn’t have the kind of opportunities for fund raising that larger places might have. According to the 2020 census there are 3,367 people on the island. That is about half of the population of the town we live in and we live in a small town. They streamed the yoga event on Facebook and plan to stream the next one they do.

Woman creates a camera that will monitor her cat’s poop

A woman created an artificially intelligent (AI) infrared camera rig using a Rasberry Pi to monitor her cat’s poop after she discovered it was eating plastic after her vet advised her to monitor her feline Teddy’s bathroom habits as he is a plastic eater. The vet told her it’s important to make sure Teddy eliminates the plastic and it doesn’t get stuck in his intestines.

The woman knew this would be a challenge as she had two cats so she wrote a program and set up a camera motion sensor that would trigger every time Teddy used the litterbox so she could tell if Teddy was constipated from the plastic he ate.

Estefannie wrote a python script and set up a camera with a motion sensor that would trigger every time Teddy used his litterbox so she could tell if he was constipated or not.

She said, “I did a lot of research and found I need to take a whole bunch of pictures. Luckily I already have a picture taking script that can take several pictures a second,” she explains on her YouTube channel.

This project wasn’t without its problems. Teddy took exception to the flash so she set up a series of infrared lights and gave the camera an infrared filter so it could see in the dark.

Every time a photo is taken it is sent to a server which processes the image and sends back a message to Estefanni’s computer. It tells her which cat is using the litterbox and if they are pooping or peeing. This complex arrangement allows Estefanni to save all of the data so she knows when Teddy is not pooping and if he needs to go to the veterinary hospital.

How long did it take her to create this incredible set up? It took about a year.

Purr-fect Pairing: Cats and Wineries Create ‘Win-Win Situation’

Ah, one of my favorite subjects – working cats and what better workplace for a feline than a winery?

Wine magazine has done a feature article on these furry employees. Sometimes the cats arrive at the winery and make it their home, which was the case for the resident feline at Napa Valley’s Black Cat Vineyard. In the mid-1990s, a stray black cat wandered onto the property as proprietor and winemaker Tracey Reichow and her kids planted their first grapevines. Every day, he returned to snoopervise their work.

They named him “Black Cat.” The following year, Reichow decided to name the business after the friendly feral feline. Through her veterinarian, Reichow learned about other needy felines who were better suited to the outdoor life. Reichow would bring them to live on her property. At one point, she had 13 winery cats prowling over her 20 acres.

She has a cat door in case any want to come inside her home. But typically, they prefer to sleep in cat beds in the vineyard’s outbuildings like machine sheds and a huge barn, which she warms with heating pads in winter.

And these cats earn their pay by keeping rodents like gophers (that can tunnel through the roots of grapevines and kill the plants) away from the vineyard.

Many rescue organizations offer “barn cat” adoption programs for cats that are fearful or distrustful of humans. These cats would be stressed as indoor pets and that puts them at risk of euthanasia. But life in a winery can be the best solution for these cats.  .

At Black Cat Vineyard, the cats hunt rodents like gophers that can tunnel through the roots of grapevines and kill the plants. One of her current cats, Peanut, even leaves gopher guts on the front porch each morning as a gift.

There are requirements for the humans who hire winery working felines. As the cats are territorial, adequate food, water and shelter is required or the cats will move and find new territory.

And if the furry winery employees decide they like the company of humans there are plenty of people for them to choose from such as employees and guests.

At Carlson Vineyards in Palisade, Colorado the  three rescue winery cats—Hank the Tank, Gunny and Willow Taffy Snowball—seem to turn on the charm for guests, according to co-owner Garrett Portra.

“It’s almost like they know, ‘Showtime! Time to earn our keep around here,’” he says with a chuckle. “It’s amazing how many people come in just to see the cats.”

The cats live outside, but they sleep indoors at night since there are coyotes in the area. There’s even a cat bed next to the register, which is “purr-fect” for cat lovers who buy bottles of the winery’s popular “Laughing Cat.”

A beloved rescue cat named Jinx, who was “crazy as anything,” inspired the name of Crazy Cat Winery and Café in Bristol, New Hampshire, says co-owner Claudette Smith. At the end of the day, Jinx liked to come into the tasting room and do the “zoomies to entertain the humans. When Jinx crossed the Rainbow Bridge last year Smith was overwhelmed by the support of his fans. Jinx’s legacy continues as he is on the winery logo.

Now rescue cats Cricket and Jasper attract customers. When asked what they bring to the business, Smith doesn’t hesitate. “People. Cat people.”

Crazy Cat shares photos of the winery cats on social media, as well as posts about adoptable cats from rescues like nonprofit group FuRRR Feline Rescue, which rescued Cricket and Jasper.

The winery recently hosted a month long food and kitty litter drive for FuRRR. Anyone who donated received a 10% discount on bottles of wine, which have names like Whisker White and Cat’s Paw.

For the photography book Wine Cats, Craig McGill and Susan Elliott photographed 108 cats in three countries. They learned of a cat named Mr. Wu, who could detect cork taint whenever a wine writer opened a bottle that was off.

I’ve featured cats that work at distilleries too. At  Beehive Distilling in Salt Lake City, Owner Chris Barlow and his daughter adopted a cat named Gimlet from Best Friends Animal Society after they hosted a fundraiser for the nonprofit.

Gimlet’s job is to deter rodents that may be attracted to the grain bags around the gin distillery. But her main job is to entertain guests that watch her strut her stuff as they enjoy a drink. She even sleeps in cat beds on barrels and steam pipes.

“It’s really nice to have a cat around,” says Barlow. “I think she just makes everything better.”

Ultimately, when distilleries and wineries adopt working cats, it benefits the business and saves the cat’s life, according to Megan McCloud, senior manager of lifesaving programs at Best Friends Animal Society.

“Just like people, cats have unique personalities and thrive in different environments,” she says. “Working cats are a great asset to businesses, and it’s a wonderful lifestyle for their unique dispositions.”

Paws up to the great wineries and distilleries who give cats a job and a home!