Walk Through The Web Wednesday 12/85

Season’s Greetings Furiends,
I hope you are enjoying this holiday season. We are not slacking off even though many folks we know have extended time off during this time of year. We have been working hard on a product review that the kind folks at Paint My Pooch asked us to do. Before I get into all the good news, I am required to take a moment to present a few comments from our attorney.

Before we begin our review, there are some things our attorney’s insist we say.

Disclaimer: 
We were provided with a free product in return for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are our own and are not influenced by the goo folks at Paint My Pooch, it’s affiliates and/or agents in any way.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the review of this excellent product.

The folks at Paint My Pooch do lovely pet portraits but they wanted to know if The Human was interested in reviewing their new product, a pet phone case. . After she read the information about the case, she said “yes”.

The first issue was, whose picture would be on the case? She finally had to put our three names in a hat and then drew one. Oliver won. She searched for a good head shot of Ollie, picked out the background color and the font, uploaded the picture and waited.

The phone case arrived very soon (impressive) and the looks and quality were far beyond The Human’s expectation. It came carefully protected in a box , inside a fabric pouch.

The new phone case, just out of the box.

Putting the iPhone XR into the case was easy. She was amazed at how sturdy and strong the case was but, first impressions don’t say a darn thing about the durability and strength of the product so, she used the case for a couple of months as she has a way of really beating up phones and cases.

First, she has a huge black leather bag and the poor phone is constantly tossed in and relegated to the bottom of the bag.

The BIG black bag. Somewhere, deep in the bottom is The Human’s iPhone.

During the time The Human tested the phone cover it was dropped (many times), slid across the floor after being dropped (with the help of feline paws) and picked up with greasy, sticky and dirty fingers. The case didn’t receive a scratch, any grubby paw prints (human or otherwise) were easily wiped off and the phone case looked as pretty as it did out of the box.

This photo of the case was just taken after several months of use. It’s as beautiful as the day it arrived.

The one thing I’ve neglected to comment on (only because I’m jealous because it’s Oliver’s photo) is the quality of the picture, very beautiful!

And there you have it, we give these phone cases an enthusiastic paws up. I suggest you head on over to Paint My Pooch and order yours now, you won’t regret it!

Now, on with the news!

Cat owners facing £500 fine unless pet is microchipped under new government law

I am not a feline fan of government overreach and haven’t yet been convinced that you can legislate morality or caring so I’m feeling a bit conflicted about this.

Cat owners in the UK could face a £500 ($661.47 USD) fine if their pet is not microchipped under a new law being introduced by the government.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE supporter of the chip (I’ve even included a story here with a happy ending because of the chip) but maybe there’s a better way to do this than make another law.

Our local shelter microchips all the cats (and dogs) it adopts out and, it also offers several microchip clinics throughout the year. The other issues is that you humans need to make sure the microchip information is current!

The proposed law will allow the human 21 days to get the cat microchipped before the fine is enforced.

There are over 10.8 million pet cats in the UK and as many as 2.8 million unchipped. Another consideration is the rate of cat theft which tripled between 2015 and last year and rose by 12.3 per cent between March 2020 and March 2021.

The cost of microchipping is usually between £20 and £30 ($26.00-$40.00 USD) and the procedure is not painful for the animals, according to the charity Cats Protection. Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said: “Cats are much-loved parts of our families and making sure that they’re microchipped is the best possible way of making sure that you are reunited with them if they are ever lost or stolen.

What do you think and how are your communities handling microchipping for felines in your neck of the woods?

Missing London cat found five years later in Stevenage

Zeke and his human reunited!

And speaking of microchipping…..Zeke, a Maine Coon, disappeared from his London home in July 2016 and this week Zeke was reunited with his human after being found 30 miles away from  home.

Owner David Blane, from Haringey in north London, said: “Zeke spent most of his time in the house but he is a very trusting cat and would venture out to visit other people and play with their cats, if they would let him. Everyone knew Zeke locally.

“But then we got two new cats, both of whom were quite territorial. Although we didn’t realise the full effect on Zeke at the time, it’s clear now that he was being bullied by them.”

Because of the bullying, Zeke began to spend more and more time outside until it seems he decided to move permanently..

When he was found, Zeke was  disheveled and his coat was quite dirty, but he was a healthy 9kg (20lb) boy with an insatiable hunger. Despite needing five teeth removed and a good bath he was in good shape, all things considered..

After all his time away from home, Zeke immediately recognized his human. There are no other cats at Zekes home now so he can settle in comfortably. His owner said, “It’s the best Christmas present I could ever imagine.”. We agree!

Customers Can Play With Cats While They Shop At New Wicker Park Boutique — And Then Adopt Them

What’s better than a  boutique that benefits an animal rescue nonprofit ? When that boutique has cats roaming around in the store!

Tortie & Co., is located in the Chicato area and  sells housewares, paper goods, candles and ceramics, as well as pet products. All proceeds from the store will support One Tail At A Time’s animal foster programs in Chicago.

The feline sales staff are all available for adoption and, since people can interact with them, it allows everyone to get to know each other and hopefully find their purrfect match for a forever home.

Build Your Own Cat Trees, Catwalks, and Cat Furniture

Chances are most felines might not get the chance to live in a paradise quite like the one Peter Cohen built for his 24 cats. Over the past 30 years, Cohen—a home builder and founder of the nonprofit ZenbyCat—has spent a great deal of time and money catifying his Santa Barbara, California, abode into a feline utopia. Mostly made up of colorful catwalks, ramps, tunnels, and hideaways, the house is an intricate and vibrant display of one man’s love for his feline family. As Cohen explains, “Cats let me survive the human world.”

Starting in 1995, he put his first catwalk in one room. “The cats loved it,” he says. Much like the walkways and passages that now cover the home, Cohen’s interest in a feline-friendly house quickly expanded. Little by little, he added more walks, steps, and wall perches to his space, connecting every room into an accessible maze fit specifically for felines. He says, “When I have money and time, we look at a place in the house that doesn’t have some catwalks and try to do something interesting.” (Now this guy is my kind of human!)

You may not have Cohen’s expertise but there is a lot you can do to create a fancy environments for your felines.

Cat trees

For many people, cat trees are the first things that come to mind when thinking about cat furniture. Cats like vertical space, cat behavior specialist and consultant Jennifer Van de Kieft explains. “It makes them feel safe,” and cats like to view the room from a high perch, Van de Kieft says. So building a cat tree is not only a fun project, but a useful undertaking for your pet too.

To start, Lora Lombardi—owner and designer at Cat Haus—advises that you “think of a shape that you can make yourself.” It could be as simple as some scrap lumber with a dowel rod, or a 4 x 4 post drilled into it. As Lombardi explains, “It doesn’t have to be super complicated.”

Alternatively, you could adapt other furniture. Zoe Garred, a designer and director of product at Tuft + Paw, suggests starting with something as simple as an IKEA piece. “Maybe there’s a way to cut some holes and use some shelves to make an internal climbing path for your cat,” she says.

Of course, your cat’s safety should be top of mind. “If you can lightly push on it, and it tips,” Lombardi says, “don’t trust it with your cat.” Try weighting the bottom, mounting it to the wall, or building a base that’s of equal dimension to the height to keep the structure as sturdy as possible.

You’ll also want to consider the materials used on the tower. Most of Lombardi’s creations use soft fabrics and carpets, but she never uses anything that’s looped that could catch the cat’s claws. She also attaches everything with staples instead of glue or other adhesives to minimize the chances of cats consuming dangerous chemicals like those used in polyurethane and isocyanate- based adhesives. “Make sure that each staple is fully submerged so there’s no ability to clip a fingernail,” she says. If you want to add a scratching area to the design, try sisal rope—according to Van de Kieft, it’s what most cats prefer anyway.

Knowing what to cover the base in—or what to leave bare—could come down to your cat’s preference. As Garred explains, do some R&D and observe your cat. She says, “Pick a few materials that you think your cat might like and see which ones they gravitate towards.”

Catwalks and wall perches

Like those found in Cohen’s home, catwalks and wall perches are another great way to use vertical space to your cat’s benefit. But they should make you as happy as they make your cat. “I built my catwalks because I like the way they look,” Cohen says, “Pick the colors you like, the style you like.” It can be as easy as purchasing a few shelves at your local hardware store. “That’s all the cat needs,” Cohen adds.

To make sure the perch is secure, you’ll want to drill it into studs. “You don’t want to use drywall hangers because even if the walk will hold a cat, if they’re jumping, the forces multiply,” Cohen says. “So drill into those studs, and then the sky is the limit.”

Regardless of how you organize the walks and shelves, Van de Kieft says, “You just want to make sure there is not a dead-end.” This is especially important in a multi-cat home so no pet feels cornered or trapped. She also encourages you to make sure the contraptions are big enough to accommodate your cat in a sleeping position. “Cats do like it cozy, so not too big either,” she says.

Beds

Though cats tend to like to be higher up, you still may want to have a bed for them in your home. “Beds are really great projects,” Garred says. “Cats love all sorts of tactile and cozy materials.”

This is a prime opportunity for owners to be really creative with the design. Any material for the bed is pretty fair game, though it might be helpful to choose something that’s machine-washable.

“You could take it in so many directions,” Garred says. Whether it is a wooden base with a plush topper or a bean bag-esque poof, there are countless ways to build the perfect resting spot for your pet. Garred notes, however, that cats tend to like more concave shapes. Cats enjoy “something they can put their backs up against, where they feel contained inside,” Garred says.

Merging human and cat design

When catifying your home, the ultimate goal should be to create a space that both you and your feline enjoy. “The key is to think about how you can integrate your cat’s life into your own life,” Garred says. If you have an established color palette, design something that fits that scheme. The same would go for the style of your furniture and decor. Design your cat’s furniture to be midcentury, Art Deco, Scandinavian, boho, or whatever style you love.

Lombardi insists that it can help to think of it as your cat’s room. “This is their place in your home,” she says. “Make [their decor] a statement instead of something you want to hide or push in the corner.”

I like the way these humans think! I think all you humans should start catification projects at your houses.

Ho Ho Ho, down the chimney you go!

A cat maned Kitty underwent a dramatic transformation after finding her way into her owner’s fireplace.  Kitty went viral on Reddit after her owner’s brother, John Jacob, shared a series of before and after pictures chronicling the noticeable change in her appearance.

The post, titled “My brother’s cat got into the fireplace,” has earned over 19,000 upvotes on Reddit thanks, in no small part, to Kitty’s surprised expression in the accompanying photos.

Poor Kitty went from a gloriously white, fluffy cat to a decidedly gray and black feline with only her face remaining unblemished from her fireplace adventure. Her human arrived home from work to find sooty carnage that took quite a bit of effort for clean up, Kitty’s clean up alone took an hour with a water vacuum.

Let’s hope her further holiday adventures keep her far away from the fireplace!