Oliver Opines on Purresidents and Other Stuff on Friendly Fill Ins Week 94

Hello Folks,
Oliver here. I’m filling in the “fill ins” this week because I have some pretty strong opinions on some of this stuff.

You can join the fun by going to our friends at McGuffy’s Reader or with our friends, and Friendly Fill Ins Co-Hosts, 15andmeowing.  And, as always, feel free to leave your fill in thoughts as a comment in this post.

Purrs & Head Bonks,
black and white cat Oliver

This Week’s Fill In Questions:

1. My favorite president is ________________ because ___________________.

2. This weekend, I have plans to ______________________.
3. I            my               .

4. I believe                    .

My Fill In Responses:

1. My favorite president is the one who was not elected and that would be me because I think it’s time for this country to take a look at things from a feline point of view!

OllieOliveBtnThis feline ran for Purresident with my pawsome running mate, Olive from Three Chatty Cats. We had an excellent platform and I think this country would benefit from some feline wisdom! You can read about our platform and other information (as well as my concession speech) here. 

 

 

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2.This weekend I have plans to do absolutely nothing. I am a cat, the only plans I make are for meal times and purrhaps, if I’m feeling frisky, some play time.  My “do nothing” plan will be purrfect if I can convince The Male Human to “do nothing” with me.

 

 

 

 

 

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3.I quite enjoy  my job as shower snoopervisor (with my brother Alberto). Although I must say, Alberto is a bit wacky. He loves water, even gets in the shower with The Male Human. I guess that’s why The Female Human is training him to go kayaking with her!

 

 

 

 

 

begging squirrel

 

 

4.I believe that the fat “town squirrel” who tries to muscle our little pine squirrel away from the bird feeder should be a little less demanding and a little more thankful. If the feeder is empty, he stands on the railing of the upstairs deck and gives The Female Human attitude. The raccoons are far more polite and grateful.

 

 

The Felines Opine On 2016

tukcrownTucker Opines

Well, I must say, 2016 was fairly much like 2015. I retained my lofty position on the red chair in the living room, received treats regularly and even strolled (under human supervision) on the upstairs deck.

The “little guys” as we call them continued to be annoying and always  up to  some kitten shenanigans  but they do recognize my authority as the Alpha of The Tribe of Five and now that they’re just over a year, they are settling down a bit.

And they are making themselves useful. Oliver has decided he likes my prescription food and this is quite convenient for me.. Each morning, when the female human comes out of the bedroom, Oliver races down the hallway and does a little dance by the food bowl. The female human obediently goes to the pantry in the laundry room, grabs the food and fills both of our bowls. Having Oliver around is never having to say, “I’m hungry”.

I’m looking forward to another relaxing year as Alpha as I take up my post on the red chair (or, as the humans refer to it, the “throne”), watch the household antics of Oliver and Alberto, receive my treats and have a perpetually full food bowl.

Jasmine Opines

Siamese cat Jasmine in fake nose and glassesWell, I am still living in the human’s bedroom but things have progressed. If you’re wondering why I live in the bedroom, you can read about it in Amelia’s story.

There have been some breakthroughs in 2016. The humans invite Lily into the bedroom frequently in the evenings and things are progressing enough that  I will actually come out from under the bed when she’s there (although sometimes she forgets she’s supposed to show me deference and chases after me, resulting in a loud a hissy fit and a big “fluffy tail”).. The female human is also leaving the bedroom door open periodically (when she can watch Lily and make sure she doesn’t waltz in.)  I am optimistic about the future.

Siamese cat sitting at a snowy windowThere is much in my two-room environment to keep me interested, the automatic red dot thingy Siamese cat sitting oi chair in front of widow in winterthat twirls and spins and throws red dots down the hallway, huge windows and wide window ledges that look out to the woods around the house.  I often have visitors come by. Some are felines, some are birds, some are squirrels and there is the occasional raccoon as well.

My brother Tucker comes and visits and sleeps overnight, as does Oliver and Alberto.  Tucker sleeps in one of the cushy cat beds but  Alberto and Oliver are a bit disruptive so they end up being escorted out of the room at some time in the wee hours.

The female human showed me that you don’t have to go out to do good work for pets. She and her sister founded a lost pet social media organization for our area and many pets have been reunited with their families thanks to all the good people who help.

All in all, it’s been a good year and much more interesting than last year. The female human told me that when I write my year end comments for 2017, she hopes I’ll be telling you how I roam around the house again.

Lily Opines

cat with New Years hat and glassesIt’s been a good year. I’ve been in the human’s bedroom many times and I’m thinking Jasmine and I may be friends after all (as long as I don’t forget myself and  chase her).

I have a nice routine with the female human. Each evening after she finishes making dinner, she goes downstairs and gets a pail full of cat food. She calls this “junk food” and won’t let us eat it on a regular basis, but she does give Alberto and I a few bits. If Tucker deigns to sashay down the stairs to join us, he gets a few pieces too. She then takes the pail and puts the food down on the patio for our masked friends. One of them comes with her little masked babies and I like to sit by the sliding glass doors and chat with them about woodland life versus indoor life. Seems to me I have the better deal.

The female human’s story “All My Children Wear Fur Coats” was published in February in the newest Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s soul book. This experience made her even more interested in writing about and for cats (it’s because of this that she is our purrrrsonal assistant and types for us in this blog). She was even on several radio shows talking about the fabulous Tribe of Five and is now working on something she refers to as a “cozy mystery” that has two cats as main characters (I hope one of them is me).

This month was a bit stressful. Some of the human’s relatives visited, and, although I am sure they are wonderful people, I did not want to be bothered so I spent the time downstairs, burrowed under the sofa cover. The Tribe of Five produced a manual for guests who visit homes with felines, you may want to ensure your humans read this.

It’s been a purrfectly wonderful  year and I look forward to a purrfectly wonderful 2017 as well.

Oliver Opines

Black and white cat with new years mask and hatI would say that I probably had the most exciting year as I threw my hat in the ring as the Kitty Cat Party cat-i-date for purresident. My running mate, Olive, from Three Chatty Cats, and I even sent our human to a conference called Blogpaws with campaign buttons to spread the word about our platform.

Olive and I presented a complete platform only to find that the Today Show featured another feline who was running and never even mentioned my name so I had to take them to task, sheesh, what’s a cat got to do to get some press coverage?

Sadly, my running mate and I did not win but this does black and white kitten runs for presidentnot mean that I have abandoned all my purrlitical aspirations. I have been reading about cats that are mayors, customs officials and even a Chief Mouser for the British Cabinet.  Now that I have some experience, I’m thinking I might just be successful at this purrlitical thing.

No matter what I decide to do in 2017, it will be a great year and I look forward to opining all about it.

Alberto Opines

Siamese cat in bag wearing party hatIt was a great year. I was the official spokes-purrson for the Kitty Cat Pawty campaign and I quite enjoyed all the attention.  Even though my brother Oliver didn’t win, he told me there would be a job for me if he ever entered the purrlitical arena again.

Things in the spring and summer were grand. The humans bought us a portable catio and we all enjoyed
bird and squirrel watching on the front porch and upstairs deck in complete safety. Ever since the female human took a class about the concept of “Fearless” cat raising, she’s made sure our home is as fear free as possible.

The next exciting thing I experienced was being able to Siamese ca walking on leash in the gardenstroll through the front garden with a harness and leash. I quite enjoy myself when the female human takes me out to explore.

I had fun with the male human showing him how to pluck the string things on his guitar, we made some lovely mewsic together

img_2553Fall was a bit dicey. First the humans tried to put some ridiculous thing on me that they called a “dinosaur costume”. I was having none of it and, as you can see by my expression, I conveyed my unhappiness quite clearly.

Then, the female human came out into the living room one night made up like a feline. I was completely gobsmacked (as my British moggie friends would say). At first I was freaked out. Was she going through some strange human to feline transformation? If she was transforming into a cat, who would take over all the things she does for us? (I don’t trust siamese cat and woman with cat ears and cat make-upthe male human to do this). Once I calmed down and figured out she was not cat-morphing I became a bit annoyed. Was she mocking us? It was a terrible “faux paws”  and one, I am fairly certain, the female human will not repeat.

As I lounge by the fire, I am thinking what a happy cat I am and I think 2017 will be even better.

A final note from the #TribeOfFive

Thanks to all our friends out there in the blogosphere. We love the notes we receive from other felines (and other non-feline creatures…and even humans)  and we look forward to entertaining and enlightening you all from our little corner of the world in 2017.

Purrs & Meows,
Tucker, Jasmine, Lily, Alberto & Oliver

 

 

 

 

 

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 9/21

siamese cat in black and white with blue eyes, Alberto, Feline Opines

Hello Friends Furry, Feathered and  Otherwise,
Alberto here (my friends call me Al) and it’s my favorite day of the week where I get to purrrruse the web and share some of my favorite feline things.
Enjoy,
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remember me thursday shelter eventRemember Me Thursday – Three Chatty Cats

Three Chatty Cats’ mission is to promote and support cat rescues and adoptions by highlighting rescue groups, sharing adoption stories, and showcasing individuals who do their part to help cats in need. They remind us that tomorrow., Thursday September 22 is “Remember Me Thursday® which is a global awareness campaign uniting individuals and pet adoption organizations around the world as an unstoppable, integrated voice advocating for orphan pets to live in forever homes, not die waiting for them. You can enter a photo of your shelter pet and win food, toys or pet insurance for your local shelter! Our human sent photos in for #TheTribeOfFive. You have until September 30th so start posting!

dailymailegyptiancatThe Daily Mail- From Viking cats to felines of the ancient mariner: DNA analysis from 30 archaeological sites reveals how cats spread around the world

This one is for the more intellectual felines in my readership. The article states that “The history of cat domestication still remains understudied, especially compared to that of dogs.” and I couldn’t agree more. We felines have been earning our keep for centuries, the article says that cats may have lived among ancient farmers, mariners, and even Vikings. I should disclose however, that #TheTribeOfFive are not great mousers and our humans had to call someone to take care of their mouse problem in their old house.

Jacke the tabby cat sitting in catnip in the gardenTabby Cats, Cheetahs & Zebras Have Something Very Special In Common – I Heart Cats


Here’s another one for my readers with inquiring minds. Now I get the connection with house felines and cheetahs, but zebras too? Veeeeerrryyy interesting, yep, it’s all in the genes.
The photo to the left is my feline cuz Jake, who is helping himself to the catnip crop.

BookRiot.com – Cat Cosplay

harbingerrenegadesCosplay for cats? Well, why not?  Valiant Comics’ just announced their latest series of cat cosplay variant covers. Variant covers, in the comic book world, are when a comic company ships multiple covers for their first printing and more often than not, the covers only make sense if you link the various covers together. (Who knew a feline had such comic book knowledge?). I purrrrrused the covers and had a hard time selecting my favorite but I think it has to be Harbinger Renegades (shown at left).

You must check this out for yourself, they are purrrrfectly wonderful!

 

Walk Through the Web Wednesday

Hello,
siamese cat in black and white with blue eyes, Alberto, Feline OpinesAlberto here. It’s my favorite day of the week (well, except maybe for Caturday). I have pawed through all the listings my minion…errr assistant presented to me and have chosen my top five blog posts. Without furrrrr-ther ado, I present them to you now. Enjoy and may all your days be purrry.
Your Friend,
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The first post comes from 15 and Meowing…..“Are You A Good Mouser?”

Jacke the tabby cat sitting in catnip in the gardenThe humans at our house are always grumbling about the money they spend on the Tribe of Five and often threaten to find us jobs. Well, my feline friends, here’s a chance to prove your worth to the humans in cold, hard cash! $500.00 cash for the top cat mouser! Just have the humans take a video of you mouse hunting but hurry, contest deadline is Sept. 15. We think our cousin Jake (photo at left) should enter. Our aunt calls him a “weapon of mouse destruction”. I would suggest,Cuz, that you spend a little less time in the catnip and a little more time honing  your craft.

Chirpy Cats has a great post about multiple cat dynamics….The Scent of Harmony, The Grooming Cat. 

ChirpyCatsThe Tribe of Five has some grooming rituals but we never realized there was intention in the way that happens. And, with a Tribe of Five, sometimes there’s a little issue with the harmony so this article was very helpful!  Chirpy Cats say that “In every multi-cat household there is that one cat that unwittingly performs a very important task – sharing and maintaining the communal scent of the whole group through grooming.” Now the humans are watching us like hawks trying to figure out who that designated feline is in our Tribe!

Three Chatty Cats has a wonderful story about the human-feline bond entitled, A Tale of Two Kitties by Jacques Bouchard
2016-08-31_jacquesbouchard_01

I’m a sucker for a good, heartwarming story and this one is just that. If you ever had any doubt that we felines can impact the lives of you humans in a big way, this story will convince you. I know how much our humans have learned from the felines who went before us and I like to hear them speak fondly of Miss. P and Buster. We kitties have an important part to play in the lives of our humans!

 

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat ‘s new discussion, They’ve Landed is kinda’ scary

BearCatMomma Kat and Bear Cat are always having conversations about all kinds of stuff. This one was a little freaky as Bear is insistent that there are aliens in the house and their home base is the dishwasher. Now Oliver and I have often wondered if some of those loud machines in our house are alien habitats so as soon as the human finished reading this to me I did a complete alien sweep of the house! (Suggest you do the same.)

Traveling Cats has an amazing tale of The Cat From Gimmelwald (Switzerland)

gimmelwald_switzerland_mountainsNow, I am great with leading my humans down the stairs, up the stairs and into the bathroom but this cat gives leading a whole new meaning. She’s a local mountain guide cat and she recently made world-wide news when she guided a lost hiker down the mountain. Wow, you go little tapfere Katze. (the female human says this means brave cat in German)

Follow Up To Amelia’s Story

Hello,
The felines have allowed me one more follow up post before they take over the keyboard again. A friend and fellow cat writer, Rachel from Three Chatty Cats sent me a link to an article by Jason Schipkowski  a Mentorship and Training Manager with Pets for Life (PFL) at The Humane Society of the United States that speaks directly to the issues I shared in Amelia’s story. This article is too important not to share.

Thank you all for allowing me to share Amelia’s story. Thank for your encouragement. And, of course, thanks to The Tribe of Five for allowing me to insert my thoughts and heart into their blog.

AnitaSig_FelineOpines

This article is from  Animal Sheltering on the Humane Society of The United States website. Dated August 2, 2016

The rescue story: helpful fundraising message or harmful stereotype?

You don’t have to look far to see fairly angry language implying how generally cruel people are (hello Facebook!) Jason Schipkowski explains the importance of examining how and why we may be fanning those flames.

It was 8 years ago when I got into animal welfare work, and I can remember the catalyst. I was at my neighborhood coffee joint when I saw it: a calendar for sale by a local rescue group. As I flipped through it, I was struck by wave after wave of pitiful before-and-after pictures—thin, crusty-skinned dogs juxtaposed with uplifting pictures of the same dogs beaming, furry and happy after rescue and rehab. I was moved to action and I signed up to help the group that had put out the calendar. Volunteering and donating turned into a marketing and development position within the organization. I was eager to give a voice to the voiceless and combat the hordes of malicious people lurking in the shadows waiting to do harm to animals.

It wasn’t until years later that I recognized just how pivotal the messages in that calendar were in shaping my initial perceptions of the field and what my purpose as an animal welfare professional should be. As the marketing guy, I wrote more web stories, social media posts, press releases and newsletters than I can remember. Often those communications included an all-too-familiar dramatic arc. It began with the wistful story of the abandoned animal, moved on to the backstory of unquestionable neglect or abuse, reached a crescendo at the time of rescue and told the story of dedicated rehabilitation by the rescuers.

That formula probably sounds familiar, and there is some truth to it. It’s certainly the story that solidified my passion for the work. But like a photograph that represents a single snapshot in time and doesn’t allow the viewer to see beyond the borders of the frame, there came a point where I felt like I wasn’t always telling the complete story. And when you don’t have the complete story, it becomes simpler to fill in the blanks with assumptions that fit the common narrative rather than seek a more thorough understanding of a more complex situation.

Think of a malnourished cat coming into the shelter. Typically what we assume is tied to that story is a “heartless person.” The common narrative doesn’t leave much room for what might in fact be a loving person whose cat bolted out the door, and they weren’t able to find them despite their very best efforts. What we put out there for consumption can be a matter of perspective; a story told enough times, and heard by enough people, can make them think of it as the rule rather than the exception.

The general public takes its cues from us, the experts. As such, there’s genuine influence in, and repercussions to, the narratives we create. Just take a cursory glance at the comments sections of any number of organizations’ social media pages—you don’t have to look far to see some fairly angry language implying how generally cruel people are. When we see that rhetoric become commonplace it’s important to look at how and why we may be fanning those flames. Are we taking the time to consider our stories with an open, balanced mindset, ensuing we’re broadcasting the most holistic and accurate message possible, or are we automatically reaching for that familiar, traditional message?

There’s no doubt, having someone to root against can be galvanizing. But what do we do when there’s no clear-cut villain? How does the story change when that thin dog is coming into the shelter only because his owner was being evicted, he got loose, and she hadn’t been able to get him some dewormer? While it’s a more nuanced story, we have a responsibility to tell it, or at a minimum acknowledge it’s not a case of an evil abuser hurting an animal and us sweeping in on white horses to save him.

Over time, the individual stories we tell become our organization’s identity. In aggregate, these stories can define our field as a whole, as well as how people direct their support. A development director at a local animal shelter recently told me about a tough spot she was in with a major donor. While there was a burning desire to ask the long-time supporter to give towards their organization’s work for underserved communities, her fear was that the donor, who had historically reserved her giving for severe medical cases of shelter animals, would be put off by the ask. In the end, the value of community-based work wasn’t discussed, and it was business as usual. Was that the right approach? I couldn’t say. What grabbed me was the thought of how many important discussions may not be happening or how innovation can be stifled for fear of swimming upstream.

I worry that our identity as a field is at times so inseparable from sad cases of perceived abuse that it’s become somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because those before-and-after photos in the calendars are what’s expected and what’s seen as motivating, we often choose to seek out and prioritize those stories above all else, limiting our dialogue to what’s most familiar instead of pushing the conversation towards a more complete story. I also think many believe fundraising messages have to use negativity and despair to be successful because it’s all that’s been done before. They’re convinced positive stories don’t sell. If we conclude—without ever testing our theory—that a new or additional narrative won’t take appeal to people, we are choosing to idly sit by and not lead towards the next stage in our field’s evolution.

There’s often a murky confluence between discussions about abuse, neglect and “stray” animal intake and underserved communities. We talk about where the animal was rescued and speculate on the cause of his or her condition—“We saved yet another emaciated dog, who we named Pikachu, from the dangerous streets of an area west of the city that we all know to be synonymous with crime and animal neglect. People are callous, and they must do better.” I admit that even writing that sentence came all too easily for me, as I’ve written some variation of it too many times.

This insensitively (and inaccurately) paints entire communities with a broad brush. It leads to anger, skepticism and isolation toward entire groups of people rather than holding individuals accountable for their actions. It creates an aura of superiority on our part, not partnership. The result is that we disconnect ourselves from many animal-loving families who should be able to look to us as a welcoming resource. It can also set up a false “us versus them” mentality in the eyes of our staff and supporter base. These messages often perpetuate stereotypes that have staying power and affect the world beyond just our field.

The Night Watch

Hello Human’s,

Oliver here. I thought I’d take a break from my purrrlitical campaigning and share my more reflective side. The female human says this title is from a famous Rembrandt painting but I’ve never heard of that cat so I’m using it.



Your friend,

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