Walk through The Web Wednesday 11/29

Hello Furiends,
As this year comes to an end we felines have spent a few moments reflecting about the past year’s events. It’s been a pretty good year, the summer was one of the hottest on record, this winter is one of the coldest and most snowy. The Human made it through with most of her sanity intact however, she just received that the part to fix her garage door won’t arrive until January 18th. I will not repeat here what she said when she heard this. She keeps meowing about how she has to allow an extra hour every morning to dig her car out and snow blow the driveway. Sigh, needless to say she’s looking forward to the new year!

As for us felines, we each have a little New Year’s wish for you.

“Hey there humans, we know that 2021 wasn’t the best year. Our human is constantly meowing about the cost of stuff. All I can say is that I’m happy I don’t have to buy this gas stuff!” – Oliver
“Hey there my human and furry furiends, just forget about 2021 and CELEBRATE 2022. Believe that everything will be better!” – Lily
“I say there old chaps, may comfort and plenty fill your new year.” – Alberto

And a final word about the coming year from Oliver:

“We’ve seen your nefarious deeds 2021 so don’t try and bring that stuff into the new year!”

Epic coworker spat over two workplace cats, Jean and Jorts, just keeps getting funnier

There is a thing called a subreddit, in which people share personal stories and elicit comments from other users. This story is funny and the follow up is even more hilarious.  

The initial story shared by Reddit user u/throwawayorangecat is about an orange cat who works in a profession not disclosed, but described as a “service to clients in very sad/stressful points in their lives”. I think that sounds like noble feline work!

The post said:

“We have two workplace cats in one area of our worksites. They add value to the worksite, we all love the cats and the worksite cat presence is not the issue. One of the cats (Jean) is a tortoiseshell cat we have had for years. The other cat (Jorts) is a large orange cat and a recent addition.

Jorts is just… kind of a simple guy. For example, Jorts can’t open a door even when it’s ajar— he shoves it whether he is going in or out, so often he closes the door he is trying to go through. This means he is often trapped inside the place he was trying to exit and meows until he is rescued.

My colleague Pam (not her real name) has been spending a lot of time trying to teach Jorts things. The doors thing is the main example — it’s a real issue because the cats are fed in a closet and Jorts keeps pushing the door closed. Jean can actually open all the other interior doors since they are a lever type knob, but she can’t open this particular door if she is trapped INSIDE the closet.

Tortie Jean is very nice to poor orange Jorts, and she is kept busy letting him out of rooms he has trapped himself in, so this seems easy to resolve. I put down a door stop.

Pam then said I was depriving Jorts of the ‘chance to learn’ and kept removing the doorstop. She set up a series of special learning activities for Jorts, and tried to put these tasks on the whiteboard of daily team tasks (I erased them). She thinks we need to teach him how to clean himself better and how to get out of minor barriers like when he gets a cup stuck on his head, etc. I love Jorts but he’s just dumb af and we can’t change that.

Don’t get me wrong— watching her try to teach Jorts how to walk through a door is hilarious, but Jean got locked in the closet twice last week. Yesterday I installed a cat cutout thing in the door and Pam started getting really huffy. I made a gentle joke about ‘you can’t expect Jean’s tortoiseshell smarts from orange cat Jorts’ which made Pam FURIOUS. She started crying and left the hallway, then sent an email to the group (including volunteers) and went home early.

In her email Pam said I was ‘perpetuating ethnic stereotypes by saying orange cats are dumb’ and is demanding a racial sensitivity training before she will return. I don’t think it’s relevant but just in case, Pam is a white person in a mostly minority staff (and no she is not ginger/does not have red hair).

Well the responses to this post were purrfect with comments like, “”Um, you can’t be racist against an animal,” to “Why is Pam spending so much of her work time trying to train a cat?”

Then when the update was posted, it took things to another level.

 “Thanks for responding to my query which had truly upset me. I work to have a good relationship with my team and the situation had gotten weird so gradually that I lost perspective.

I just met with HR, she had already met with Pam. HR was concerned about Pam’s comparing ethnic stereotypes with giving a cat a doorstop and they addressed that which went well. HR will follow up to make sure Pam understands. (The replies to my query were helpful to me for this discussion.)

HR also addressed Pam assigning other staff Jorts-related tutoring, as it is not appropriate for Pam to assign others work. This also went well.

We both think Pam had a hard time with the transition from volunteer to staff, and may have ‘new kid’ sensitivity projected to Jorts. Pam got emotional about her perception that I favor Jean over Jorts and gave specific examples. Some of these things are fair. Jorts deserves respect as a member of our team.

There are 3 buildings in our workplace. Jean and Jorts are limited to one. HR told me there were 5 holdouts about vaccines, and restricting unvaccinated people from entering the building (to protect Jean and Jorts) was enough to win over 4 of them. That’s CRAZY, but great.

More importantly: the cats’ presence greatly enhances our work with our clients, and Jorts’ friendly nature has been so great. Both cats truly are doing important work. Truly Jorts deserves to be treated with respect.

We all deserve to be treated with dignity at work, so I will apologize to Jorts about some things that were insensitive or disrespectful.

a. Jean has a nice cat bed with her name on it, while Jorts has chosen an old boot tray in my office with a towel in it. Recently a visitor put wet boots in the boot tray and Pam saw Jorts sleeping on the wet boots. I bought a bed for Jorts today and a name tag has been ordered.

b. I will apologize to Jorts and remove the sign saying ‘DAYS SINCE JORTS HAD A TRASH CAN MISHAP: 0’ Jorts likes to fish dirty paper cups out and he often falls into the bin or gets a cup stuck on his head, etc. (He is able to get out of the bin by tipping it over so it isn’t a safety issue.)

c. Jean’s ‘staff bio’ has a photo of Jean, while Jorts’ bio has a photo of a sweet potato. I did not actually know either cat had a staff bio, but we will use a photo of Jorts instead of a sweet potato.

HR also suggested changing Pam’s duties so she is ‘in charge’ of the cats. This I refused, the cats are my staff, not Pam’s. I think Pam was well-intended but actually not meeting the needs of either Jean or Jorts so they remain under my supervision. (Pam is also not to put cups on Jorts’ head or intentionally put him into frustrating situations given his unique needs.)

Lastly, and this made us both laugh so hard we can’t deal with it in person and will be said via email: Pam admits that she has been putting margarine on Jorts in an attempt to teach him to groom himself better. This may explain the diarrhea problem Jean developed (which required a vet visit).

Pam is NOT to apply margarine to any of her coworkers. Jean has shown she is willing to be in charge of helping Jorts stay clean. If this task becomes onerous for Jean, we can have a groomer help.

Believe it or not, there are many more comments to read in the links in this report. All I have to say is you humans are pretty weird.

Firefighters Forced to Cut Through Couch to Rescue Trapped Kitten

I’ve reported on heroic firefighters saving cats stuck in trees, after fires and other dire circumstances. This rescue story however,is a new one and proves once again what amazing folks our local firefighters are.

A group of firefighters from Manotick, a suburb of the Canadian capital Ottawa, were called out to reports of a trapped kitten—which had somehow managed to get its leg stuck inside a pull-out sofa.

In order to rescue the terrified black cat they had to cut into the couch. You can follow photos of the rescue on the link to the Newsweek article.

The team also shared snaps of their efforts to the Twitter page @OttFire on Thursday.

The kitten’s humans got their cat back safe and sound but clearly they’ll need a new sofa.

U.S. Service Members Enjoy Happy Reunions with the Needy Cats They Rescued During Deployment

Sgt. Arielle and Sgt. Marisol are back in the paws of their beloved felines. The U.S. service members, who both live in Florida, each rescued a cat while deployed overseas. Sgt. Arielle first met her feline, Cathulhu, while stationed in Lithuania, where she found the kitten emaciated and in need of help. She fed and cared for Cathulhu from that moment on, helping the scared kitten grow into a healthy and playful cat.

“Her personality came out, and now she is a spunky, healthy kitten who loves to play. I have been going through a difficult time recently, and Cathulhu showed up at the perfect time. We refer to her as a therapy cat because anytime you are sad or upset, she starts up the purr machine and comes to give you a bath,” Sgt. Arielle said about her relationship with Cathulhu.

Sgt. Marisol met her cat, Mariska Hargitay, while deployed in Poland. It was Mariska Hargitay the cat who chose Sgt. Marisol, following the servicemember into her room. The pair quickly formed a strong bond after that moment.

“I was walking to my room on my post, and there was a litter of about 20+ cats on base. I continued to walk to my residence, and when I was halfway to my room, I looked back, and there was a baby kitten following close to me. I looked around, and she was really far from the rest of her litter. I attempted to look for her mother but could not find her. I then took the kitten to my room in order to get her fed and out of the elements. We bonded immediately, and she stayed in my room ever since,” Sgt. Marisol shared in a statement to PEOPLE about how she and Mariska Hargitay first met.

Needless to say, both Sgt. Arielle and Sgt. Marisol didn’t want their relationships with their cats to end when they went back to the U.S. To ensure the felines the pair adopted while overseas could keep being their pets in America, SPCA International’s Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide program stepped in. I’ve reported on several programs that work to reunite soldiers with their beloved felines and this one has helped over 1,000 servicemembers reunite and officially adopt the animals they met and befriended during their deployments. Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide navigates the complicated logistics required to send an animal overseas safely and covers the costs of these expensive trips for U.S. service members

The head of the organization said, “Being forced to leave a beloved pet behind when deployment is over can be devastating, so until we see peace in every corner of the world, OBP: Worldwide will continue to serve wherever it’s needed – just like the heroes of our U.S. Armed Forces. We consider every reunion request, regardless of the location, a chance for SPCA International to give back to our troops,” Kronish added on why SPCA International takes on these complex endeavors.

Both Sgt. Arielle and Sgt. Marisol are grateful to be the recipients of Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide’s efforts. They are looking forward to spending the holidays with the furry friends that got them through some of their most challenging times.

If you would like to help facilitate these reunions, you can support Operation Baghdad Pups: Worldwide by making a contribution to SPCA International’s military rescue programs.

I heard a meow’: Kentucky man finds his cat unscathed in rubble nine days after tornado

There are many stories of feline survivors of the recent tornados and this is a great one. Nine days after a tornado demolished his three-story office building in downtown Mayfield, Kentucky, Sonny “Hoot” Gibson was standing in the rubble when he thought he heard a faint meow.

That sound gave him hope that his office cat, Madix, who hadn’t been seen since before the storms hit, was alive. Gibson said he had tried to find the black cat with yellow eyes who liked to greet customers of his rental business, but he had given up after a few days.

“I don’t know how anything could’ve survived not just the tornado but the destruction that came along with it,” he said.

 “I thought I heard a meow, and I thought my mind’s playing tricks on me so I hollered his name out, and he meowed again,” Gibson said.

The noise was stifled and he couldn’t locate Madix immediately so he called some employees who came to help search. Soon after, they found the cat in a hole beneath the rubble.

“It was just an incredible feeling to put him in my arms,“ Gibson said. “If cats actually have nine lives, he probably used up about eight of them in that nine-day period.”

Other than being very hungry and thirsty, Madix was unscathed. Gibson said he took Madix home, where he will live out the rest of his days as a house cat.

Gibson said the story of Madix the survivor is becoming popular around the town of Mayfield, where a long-track tornado demolished huge parts of the community.

“It’s a blessing for people to hear the story so they can take that and realize that great things can come out of terrible situations. If it’s uplifting to one person, then Madix has served his purpose on this planet.”

Internet Backs Woman ‘Choosing’ Cat Over Boyfriend After He Called Pet Dirty

I reported about a man who chose his cat over his girlfriend and here we have another story of humans choosing their beloved felines over their cat hating significant others.

A woman chose her cat over her boyfriend after he complained her pet was unhygienic.

She posted the story to Reddit‘s popular Am I The A**hole forum, under username AITA_Shower, where she explained she’s had her cat, Crumb, since he was three months old.

She found Crumb abandoned and “nursed him back to health and as a result they have a strong bond.

She wrote: “My cat ‘Crumb’ is the most important aspect in my life right now. Like most cat parents, he rules the household.”

Still, Crumb was a problem for her new boyfriend who she’d been dating for two months. When he stayed over, Crumb never showed him any affection or interest and he pretty much left the male human alone. And yet the guy began to complain constantly about the feline.

When he walked into the woman’s bathroom to see Crumb rubbing his face against her toothbrush (an electric ones that stands), he was shocked and told her how disgusting it was. He demanded she get a new toothbrush (expensive) and she said no and put the toothbrush in a drawer.”

The boyfriend next announced he didn’t like her nightly routine with Crumb. She gives Crumb a kiss on the head, stomach and then face before he goes to sleep.

The boyfriend complained this was unhygienic, that the cat is dirty and that letting the cat sleep in the bedroom is gross.

When he wanted the cat punished, it was the last straw. She tried to explain that you can’t punish cats but he wouldn’t hear it. He then went on to say that me kissing Crumb is disgusting, especially his face, and he wouldn’t ever kiss me if I kissed Crumb again. He asked me to put Crumb outside the room when he is over, or lock him in a ‘crate.’

“So she (finally) said, ‘okay bye.’, and let him know Crumb was 10000x more important to her than the cat hating boyfriend. When she began to feel remores about how she’d treated the boyfriend, she asked people on the internet for their opinions. Her post, entitled “AITA for standing firm on my ‘lack of hygiene’ and choosing cat over bf?” has been upvoted more than 17,000 times, as people backed her.

Krik2019 advised: “NTA-Crumb sounds like a great cat! Your boyfriend, not so great. Keep the cat, ditch the boyfriend. You’ll be happier.”

Envydiare commented: “You’ve only been with him 2 months and he’s already trying to be controlling. Leave the bf and kiss the cat.”

Mvfrostsmypie said: “Yep. Dump the guy. Life is too short to date a guy who doesn’t like your cat.”

LinusV1 thought: “If someone demands that you put your cat in a crate when they are over, laughing at them is 100 percent the appropriate reaction. Unless they are serious. Then laughing at them AND dumping them is the way.”

While SupGirluHungry pointed out: “Tooth brush heads are designed to be replaced every few months.”

And just for the record, , most cats don’t require baths, and rather than needing to be scrubbed down, a healthy cat grooms itself, and if done properly is generally hygienic.

Explaining more about how they keep clean, website Senior Cat Wellness said: “Cats have a reputation for being clean animals due to the countless hours they spend grooming. The average cat will spend much of its day cleaning its fur, removing grease, dirt, and debris.

So there!