Walk Through The Web Wednesday..on Thursday 10/01

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello There Furiends,
We’ve managed to get ourselves organized and ready to present this week’s web’s wanderings. The Human has been subjecting us to hard labor. Every time she changes the bedding we have to be there to snoopervise and when she turns the mattress, well that makes the work twice as hard! And there were other menial tasks we were forced to do. Now I ask you, should famous internet feines like us be subjected to such lowly labor??

You weren’t planning on bringing the vacuum monster in here were you?
Well who else was going to keep an eye on the chicken in the crock pot if I don’t do it?

Yes, it’s been a busy week and now it’s time for some good kitty stories.

Why Orange Cats Are Special, According to Science

Well who knew that there was so much scientific information on orange cats? As our Tribe has no orange kitties we’ve never been exposed to any of this info but we do have many orange furiends out there in cyberspace.

Science has determined that orange cats are more affectionate. Some say this is because the orange color is sex linked and there are more male orangies than female and current research states that males are slightly more friendly than females.

In a 1995 study,Pontier et al. that studied the  frequency of the orange gene variant among cat populations indicated that there are numerous traits that separate orange felines from their other colored compadres.

Here are a few of the conclusions from this study:

1. Orange cats are more common in rural (less dense) as opposed to urban environments. This finding suggests that orange cats may enjoy greater reproductive success in particular social conditions.

2. Orange cats are less common in areas with greater mortality risk. This finding indicates that orange cats may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors that result in death.

3. Orange males weigh more than cats of other colors, and orange females weigh less than cats of other colors.

The study indicates that male orange city kitties who are very competitive may heighten their risk of death (e.g., through fights with cats or other animals), thus driving down the proportions of orange cats..

Personality traits attributed to color is not a new idea and students have shown differences between rodents and birds based on their colors.

What do my orange furiends think about all this sciency stuff?  

Viking Cats: The Preferred Pets of the Northmen

A few Wednesdays ago I did a feature on cats in Japanese history and this week I’m bringing you some history of the majestic Viking cat. Yes, the Vikings kept pet cats!

Norse mythology has many tales of cats, the Norse god Freyja drove a chariot pulled by two cats. Those cats are called  ‘gib-cats’ and are depicted as grey or blue in color. The cats were a gift from Thor, and she used them to travel to the funeral of Baldur, her lover.

There’s also the Scandinavian folk tale of a cat that helps a poor man. First the cat wins a castle of silver and gold by tricking a troll – keeping it talking until sunrise when it turned to stone. Then, the cat asks the poor man to cut off its head. Hey, I wouldn’t mind tricking troll to get a castle for The Tribe and our Human to live in!

The ferocious wolf Fenrir is restrained by a chain called Gleipnir, made from six magical ingredients including ‘the sound of a cat walking’. And finally, once of the Frost Giants tricked Thor into trying to lift up a huge cat. When Thor could only lift one paw, the cat was revealed to be the Jormungandr – the mighty serpent that encircles Midgard.

It’s likely that the Vikings played a part in spreading felines around the globe. A study concluded in 2016 analyzed the remains of over 200 cats from 30 different archaeological sites throughout Africa and Eurasia to find out about the history of the domestic cat.

As early humans spread across the globe and started planting crops, these crops would attract vermin such as mice and rats. These vermin then attracted cats, protecting precious crops from being eaten. And, since cats are so loveable and fluffy it didn’t take them long to weasel their way into the hearts and hearths of the humans.

There is no firm data that tells us when cats reached Scandinavia but scientists believe thy were there during the Iron Age. Remains found in a Viking trading port in the Baltic Sea in Northern Germany indicate that cats were providing their valuable services to humans by the Middle Ages.

Cats were welcome on Viking ships as their presence there would ensure that the food supply would be intact and unspoiled by disease bearing vermin.  

Another phenomenon of the ancestors of the Viking felines is their size…they are large! Today’s descendants of the Viking Cats are called the Norwegian Forest Cat and they are quite handsome!

Lewes MP’s cat is in the running to become ‘Purr Minister’
Collar

I do not get into purrlitical stories unless they feature felines and this one does! Collar, a feline who resides at the home of a Member of Parliament, is the running for the award  of  Purr Minister.

MPs and peers will also be putting forward their cats to a public vote for Purr Minister 2020 – the title of the nation’s favorite feline in Westminster.

Collar’s human said, “I think that being a stray, Collar represents exactly what they are all about and I hope that when voting opens to the public people will be able to support Collar to become Purr Minister.”

Each cat-idate in the runninbg has a “manifursto” explaining why they should land the role.

Collar’s “manifursto” says: “Being a stray and someone who didn’t have a home, I searched high and low to find someone to love me, look after me and be my servants. I was lucky as I found a loving home which already had cats so I have allowed them to look after me.”

Kitty see, kitty do: cat imitates human, in first scientific demonstration of behavior

 A feline named Ebisu may be the world’s first literal copycat. Researchers have revealed that the Japanese cat can imitate the actions of her owner under controlled scientific conditions.

The discovery came about unexpectedly. Claudia Fugazza, an ethologist at Eötvös Loránd University, had been studying dog cognition for nearly 10 years using “Do as I do” training. In this method, a researcher first trains a dog or other animal to copy a behavior it already knows—such as rolling over—by saying “Do as I do,” demonstrating the behavior, and then saying “Do it!” The dog is then rewarded for its success. Over time, the animal learns that “Do it!” means “copy me.” The approach can be used to test whether animals can truly imitate—that is, copy actions they have never done before, such as ringing a bell.

Fugazza, met  Fumi Higaki, a dog trainer in Ichinomiya, Japan, who told her that  she had trained one of her cats with the “Do as I do” method. Her cat, an 11-year-old female named Ebisu (after the Japanese god of prosperity) was highly food motivated, making her easy to train. Her owner said“She often snuck into my dog training classes because she knew the people there had good treats,”

Well, if that’s the case, our Oliver should be brilliant at this training!

Higaki showed that Ebisu could copy familiar actions, like opening a plastic drawer and biting a rubber string. Then she asked the cat to imitate two new behaviors. While standing before Ebisu, who sat on a countertop next to a cardboard box, Higaki raised her right hand and touched the box. At other times, she bent down and rubbed her face against the box.

In 16 subsequent trials, Ebisu accurately copied her owner more than 81% of the time.

So there you have it, we felines are capable of waaaay more than some of you humans give us credit for!

Once-abandoned cat with different colored eyes, extra toes becomes Instagram famous

Sansa the Polydactyl Cat — named after the Game of Thrones character Sansa Stark — was adopted by her current owner in 2016 after being abandoned by her previous owner.

This beautiful white kitty with one blue and one green eye has now become an Instagram star with over 23,500 followers. Clearly The Tribe needs to up our game in the Instagram department!

Here eye color condition is called heterochromia and  Sansa  has other challenges, was also born with a seizure disorder called feline hyperesthesia and a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyl that makes her have more toes on her paws.

When her current owners found her in a New York City Petco, Sansa was “dealing with anxiety and heartbreak” from being abandoned. Thank goodness Sansa found a wonderful furever home and she’s now settled in.

Sansa is a loving cat to her humans and has become very social as well. “She sits on our lap on the couch every day and sleeps on the bed with us every night. She seems to know whenever Jack or I aren’t feeling well and will stay right by our sides.”

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 7/10

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Hello Furiends,
Alberto here. I sure hope your summer is going better than ours! Our main staff and General Lackey ended up in the emergency room on July 4th with a newly diagnosed ulcer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m as sympathetic as the next feline but I did have to ask myself, “How does this affect me?”

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KD the (gasp) dog at our house waiting for the squirrel to come to the upstairs deck.

In addition, we have some human furiends staying at our house who have a …get ready for it…DOG! The Tribe has never seen a dog and worse, never heard a dog bark! I have demanded access to the bedroom at night. Oliver spends his time hiding under the table in the living room and Lily runs around with her big eyes even bigger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is Tucker at the vet. The meds made him pretty woozy.

Tucker could care less but that might be due to the fact that the medication he was on zonked him out so bad he couldn’t walk without stumbling. This resulted in an emergency visit to the vet on Sunday (fortunately our place with the white coats, Pend Oreille Veterinary Service is open 7 days a week (at least fortunately in this case but not so great that The Female Human can now drag us there any day of the week!). He was so out of it The Female Human didn’t even have to put him in the carrier. She just wrapped him in a beach towel.

The vets take care of the Tribe very well and even though it took the poor guy  a few days to recover he’s now on new meds and back to his sassy, treat-begging self.

Remember how I had to apologize on The Female Human’s behalf last Wednesday? Well, she’s still behind but working hard to catch up. We are giving her a bit of a break as long as she promises to respond to all our correspondence for us by the end of the week.

Okay, enough about us, let’s get to this week’s web wanderings!
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11 Facts About Hemmingway’s Cats

Ernest Hemingway

I had to ask The Female Human, “Who is this Hemmingway person and what’s the deal about his cats?” She said the short version of the story is that Ernest Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain . Now many of the cats who live at his home (which is now a museum) are descendants of that original cat, named Snow White. Now all the cats at the museum are polydactyl.  Hemmingway  named all of his cats after famous people and the museum follows that tradition today.

There’s lots of interesting information about these felines. As I mentioned they are all 6-toed, they survived hurricane Irma, one of the cats was “jailed” and a federal complaint was filed against them. For more information on these facts and the other 7 facts, you’ll have to read the article.

Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s 1st cat café, opening August 1

GatosAndBeans

I love reporting on cat cafes, especially when they have something unusual to offer. This cafe has amazing feline art like the mural in the photo above. Gatos and Beans will be a combo adoption center, cat therapy place for people who can’t have cats at home, and a café / bar for humans. ‘Sounds absolutely purrfect to me.

Gatos and Beans is a family affair: The Steward family,Kelli, Stephen and Stephen’s two sons are the owners. Kelli has worked at a local veterinary clinic for more than 20 years and was looking for a new animal related endeavor. In November 2018, they won second place in REV Birmingham‘s The Big Pitch Competition, and since then, they haven’t looked back.

Gatos and Beans will operate like most of the 99 or 100 other cat café’s in the country. You will buy a ticket for coffee and time with the fabulous felines. And if you want more, you’re always welcome to upgrade to get a fancy coffee drink, beer, wine, or a snack. If you live in the area you can get your pre-opening offer now, or keep checking their website to see when they open reservations.

Catcam videos reveal cats don’t sleep all day

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Tucker is very serious about nap time.

This one is filed under my “Duh! Why did you humans spend time and money on studying this?”

Maren Huck, a behavioral ecologist at the University of Derby, in the United Kingdom, recruited 21 English felines and put cameras on them.  Of the 21, 16 tolerated the Oreo-sized cameras enough to count as participants in this project.

This human felt that  cats #1 activity is sleeping. This was not what her study proved.  Huck said,their top activity actually was “resting” – not sleeping, and the study showed that another preferred pastime was “exploring,” which Huck said amounts to “sniffing at plants or things.” There’s a whole lot more stuff in this article but I ask you humans, did you really need to spend the time and money for this?

Liam Gallagher assures brother Noel that his cat is safe amid feud

Gallagher

Liam Gallagher holds his kitten Sid, which he adopted from Wood Green, The Animals Charity. Picture: Wood Green, The Animals Charity

I don’t follow human music but evidently this Liam Gallagher (the former Oasis frontman) and his brother Noel had a spat and he took the argument a bit too far when Liam involved the cat, suggesting his brother doesn’t even think about kidnapping the cat. ‘And don’t try and kidnap the cat either, we’ve just employed Ross Kemp as his close protection officer,’ he said. Liam quickly apologised, saying: ‘My sincere apologies to my beautiful mum and my lovely niece Anais for getting caught up in all of this childish behaviour, I love you both dearly LG x.’

He has also found himself in the position of responding to concerns regarding the cat. ‘Did you kidnap Noel’s cat?’ a fan tweeted. ‘Wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole,’ the singer responded. Well that settles that then. Like his brother, Liam is a devoted cat fan, and last year he gave a home to two unwanted felines, who were being looked after at The Animals Charity in London.

People, people, if you can’t get along, PLEASE  leave the cat out of it!

 

Artist designs tattoo sleeves for hairless cats to keep them warm in winter

TatooSleeve

Feline fashion is a “thing”. I purrsonally know a fabulous feline fashionista, Coco the Couture Cat, but this is a new kind of feline fashion. Artist and animal fashion designer, Airie McCready, has tapped into a niche market with her inspired invention Tattcats. The sheer jumpers are made with a soft material that’s good for the cat’s skin, and are designed to look like a sleeve of tattoos to keep your hairless cat warm this winter. “These cats get cold because they don’t have any fur,” McCready said. So now my hairless feline friends can stay warm and comfy and look edgy too. Rock on my furiends, rock on!