Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/13

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends!
I hope the weather in your neck of the woods is better than ours. We’ve had high wind warnings and our electricity was out! Thankfully, our Human was forward thinking when she had our house built so we always have the gas fireplace in the living room to keep us warm. It’s a shame about her morning coffee but if she wants to use her Keurig, we told her she should get a generator! Everything is now back to normal and up to our finicky feline standards.

I wanted to clarify that when I refer to “our neck of the woods” I mean that literally and the woods offer great entertainment for The Tribe. The Human flung open the bedroom curtains and found this little guy stretched out on the pine needles sleeping!

Another interesting event was the new tea The Human bought. It’s a brand she’s used for years, Sleepy Time Tea. She drinks it because she has trouble sleeping, which she blames on us, more on that topic below. Anyhoo, she bought the “extra” version the other day which contains valerian. Did she not remember that valerian affects some of us like catnip?? I sure am enjoying my evening tea these days!

“Hmmm, this smells intriguing .”
“Thank you Human, I will expect my tea each evening at the same time.”

Before I share this week’s stories, I must tell you about the horrible allegations hw Human has made against us. She is claiming that Oliver and I keep her up at night due to our snoring. Snoring? Really? She went so far as to record us and claims that the sound quality isn’t great because we’re at the foot of the bed and she couldn’t get closer because she was afraid of waking us up. We will let you all decide if we snore or not.

Whoops, looks like this audio file won’t play. We’ll have our Purrsonal Assistant do some research but Oliver and I don’t see the need because we DON’T snore!

Finally, we will be featuring one of our interweb furiends tomorrow who has something he’d like to meow about on our first ever Cat Chat segment. Remember, if you’d like to meow at us just send us an email at FelineOpines@gmail.com with a good head shot so we can make sure we coordinate your mouth to match your words. Come back tomorrow and listen to what Marvelous (Marv) has to say!

Street cats in Portugal are being given old washing machines as shelters

Oh my whiskers, I love it when  you humans find creative ways to help homeless kitties! Stray cats in Valongo, an area of Portugal’s city Porto, are starting 2021 very well. The cat colonies who live in the city streets are getting new shelters, all made from old washing machines and dryers.

The machines are painted and decorated, lined with blankets and offer the street kitties protection and comfort.  Now the good humans of Valongo purrticipate in the TNR (trap, neuter, release) program and also work to find furever homes for kittens. There are care givers who come and feed the cat colony,

 They project they will need 50 machines and are looking for donations. You can contact them via email at GMVM@cm-valongo.pt.

New Research to Help Shelters Better Place Cats in Loving Homes

Meowza, this Feline Temperament Profile (FTP) is going to help lots more cats get furever homes!”

Our Human is always singing the praises of HABRI (The Human Animal Bond Research Institute) and the Winn Feline Foundation. The Winn Foundation’s Animal Studies Journal recently published confirmation of the effectiveness of the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP) in assessing the vehavioral responses of cats in different situations. They also found that even a shortened FTP assessment does  not cause a loss of reliability, This can provide a quick, practical tool for shelters and other rescue organizations to help cats find compatable homes and reduce the likelihood of cat relinquishment.

Dr. Gretchen Carlisle, Research Scientist at the University of Missouri said, “With this study, we conclude that the shorter FTP can be deployed to increase the possibility of successful adoptions by matching cats with adopting families’ expectations and improving shelter staff’s accuracy to easily and objectively assess behavior.”

Research suggests that cats have a better chance of staying in their furever homes if their purrsonalities are compatible with the humans who adopt them.

The discovery that the shortened test does not affect reliability makes this shorter version a much more valuable tool for shelter workers to use.

Meowza! The good folks who work in shelters could sure use a more streamlined form of this test to help their felines get adopted!

Woman begs people to stop blaming her for her fat cat’s massive size

This feline finds it very sad that some of you humans are so hissy and judgmental regarding other human’s cat posts. One area where I see much judgment is about cats that are heavier or CHONKY. As a matter of fact, a Facebook group was formed in 2019 called “This Cat is CHONKY” where people can post without the fear of judgment. The group has over 860,000 members and has grown like crazy since I first reported about it.

As members of that group, we’ve already met (and love Squishy) who is a 36 pound feline who is not an overeater but who has a syndrome caused by a tumor in his brain. The tumor secretes an excess of growth hormone which results in his girth. His loing human, Lauren Masterson has been treated horribly by some folks who blame her for his weight. She says, ‘They assume I’m either an idiot or a negligent person who is drastically overfeeding Squishy on purpose.”

Rest assured world that Lauren has worked with her vets, giving him tests, trying new things to help with his weight and making changes as prescribed by her vet.

Squishy is a loveable guy and Lauren loves him very much. Instead of judging Squishy’s human why not let her know that she’s doing a great thing by caring for him and paying the vet expenses to keep him healthy and happy!

Cat benefits from human’s new beading skills

If you’re a purrrticularly lucky feline like Anna, when your human takes up a new hobby, you benefit.  Anna’s human, Shelby Mitchell-Adams took up beading and her first project was a beaded floral vest for Anna.

Anna was adopted and given a furever home when she was found abandoned on the side of the road and now is loved and well dressed.

So my furiends, never give up. You too could go from the roadway to the runway!

New adoption van brings Cumberland County dogs, cats outside the shelter

Cumberland County Animal Services has a new mobile adoption van designed to help cats and dogs get out of the shelter and find homes.

These creative humans from the Cumberland County Animal Services in in North Carolina were gifted a custom van that can house up to 21 animals to off-site adoption events. And everything is organized so well that the humans who adopt can take their fur kid home on the same day!

The van can also help with evacuations, large animal cruelty and in partnering with other agencies to free up shelter space.

The shelter director hopes that with volunteers, adoption and resources like the mobile adoption center, more animals can be saved in the years to come. We hope so too!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/6

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Mew Year Furiends!
I hope your 2021 is off to a great start. Things are about the same in our neck of the woods. The Female Human had a lot of time off during the holidays. Although she was not going to work, she did work at home. I decided I was tired of the cushy bed next to her workspace and decided to hang out in the catnip infused bag she got us for Christmas. It was quite enjoyable!

Oliver decided to spend some extra time with the Human when she showered. He thought it had to be pretty boring in that wet, glass box so he added some excitement of his own.

As you can see, we had some fun with our Human! We also had her work on a new feature we will be doing on a weekly basis. Oliver, Lily and I have so much fun recording messages for you all and we decided that it would be fun to hear from our feline furiends about things that were of interest to them. It’s called “Cat Chat” and here’s how it will work:

1-Send us an email with your comments about the topic you want to meow about
2-Attach a photo with a good shot of you from the front (so we can have our Purrsonal Assistant work her magic with the automation)
3-Send the email to: FelineOpines@gmail.com and in the subject line type “cat chat”

We will email you and let you know when your Cat Chat segment is published on the blog. Now’s the time to meow about your favorite topic, special gripe and anything else your whiskers are in a twist about.

‘Midnight Cafeteria’ project feeds dozens of stray cats in Taiwan city

The Midnight Cafeteria is 45 small wooden houses, decorated by Taiwanese artists and scattered throughout the city of Taipei. They were created to be a place of rest and food for feral cats. A teacher, Hung Pei-ling  and her neighbors started the program for the stray cats in their community.

These good folks do more than shelter and feed the cats. They also capture injured cats and cats that need spaying and take them to the vet. Once the cats are healed, they are returned to their territory.

Another cat loving human in Taipei, Chen Chen-yi, a researcher at the Taiwan Animal Equality Association, was instrumental in the building and decorating of the cat houses.  Many times the places where people feed stray cats are messy and the public ends up complaining about the cats. With these tidy little houses the neighborhoods stay clean and the cats are accepted.

Paws up to these forward thinking humans!

Feline groovy: cats in classical music – 10 of the best

If you are a mewsic lover you already know that over the centuries cats have appeared in opera and other venues.

For instance, Christopher Smart’s cat Jeoffry received 74 lines of Smart’s poem Jubilate Agno (1759-63), set to music by Benjamin Britten in his cantata Rejoice in the Lamb. Smart wrote the poem when he was locked up in an for mania – with only Jeoffry the cat to keep him company. Jeoffry is also the subject of a book, Jeoffry: The Poet’s Cat,

Another cat named Pulcinella who belonged to the composer Scarlatti, ran over the keys of the musician’s harpsichord and inspired a theme for a fuge.

If you are a feline and mewsic lover, this article (and the videos in the article) are definitely for you!

MTA worker has saved dozens of cats from subway tracks and rail yards

The next time you think you don’t have time to help cats, remember Thomas Doerbecker. He is a subway maintenance supervisor and a rescuer of stray cats in the rail yards of New York.

His “side career” started in 2017 when management approached him and asked if he’d help him rescue a stray cat that had hid himself in the subway tunnels. He bought a humane trip, put some food out and the kitty was captured.

There were more cats to rescue so Doerbecker took a Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) class at his local shelter. If the cats are adoptable he will look to get them adopted out.

He and his wife currently have seven fosters plus six cats of their own. Thank you Thomas Doerbecker for keeping kitties safe!

Cats decked out in superhero costumes from Batman to Thor by Indonesian designer

A former teacher in Indonesia went from teaching humans to designing clothing for cats. The business of cat fashion has been very good to the former teacher and when he branched out into cat supurr-hero costumes he hit the jackpot, designing cat couture superhero costumes to cosplay characters. So, if you’re the kind of feline that enjoys a good costume, check  these out!

St. Louis man uses cat’s litter box to fight porch pirates

There are so many benefits to living with cats but I bet you this is one you’ve never heard of. A human in St. Louis was getting sick and tired of having “porch pirates” steal packages off his porch. He knew he needed to do something and then one day, when he was cleaning out the litter box, the idea came to him.

He had several Amazon boxes in the basement so he took them and packaged up the cat litter and sealed it up inside the boxes.

Sure enough, the thief struck attain and a neighbor found one of the packages on the ground. He was going to return it when he saw the note inside addressed to the thief.  To date, no more packages have been taken from his porch.

Now that’s what I call creative thinking!

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 8/15 Alberto Opines on

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday My Furiends,
I don’t know what Wednesday means to you but at our house it means the humans in the big noisy truck come by our driveway, grab the green and the blue things The Humans keep in the garage and dump the contents into the truck. The Tribe of Five have pondered this weekly ritual and can only surmise it is some sort of human kitty litter cleaning exercise.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy these little gems I found in my weekly purrusal of the web.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Siamese cat with blue eyes

Local Musician Takes Care of Stray Cats – News Channel 5 Nashville

Nashville musician feeds stray black cat

I am a great mewsic fan which is why this news story resonated with me. A songwriter in Nashville, Chris Gantry, leaves his house at 3a.m. to feed stray cats in his old neighborhood. He wants to bring attention to the growing stray cat population and raise awareness for these feral felines. He even wrote a song about it. He is a staunch supporter for  TNR (trapping, neutering, and releasing stray cats) that have been on the streets their entire lives. He works with Metro Animal Care and Control with his TNR efforts.

He knows all his feral furiends but is especially close to a black cat called Midnight, who is the only feral not afraid to show herself to him in the day light.  He calls her the Queen of Belmont.  He calls Midnight a fierce, beautiful young black cat.

Before Gantry could trap her and get her spayed, she had one litter of kittens and  Gantry took them to get neutered and adopted. He says of Midnight, “This cat is wild. She would never let anybody touch her accept me. Unfortunately, that’s the tough part.”

Two paws up for Chris Gantry and his work for feral cats!

California community cat garden helps feral cats get adopted – abc7 eyewitness News

cat garden gets feral cats adopted

Whenever you humans come up with a creative idea to help homeless kitties, I say “Bravo”. There is a lady in Milpitas, California doing just that.  Instead of euthanizing feral felines, they’re gently coaxed to trust humans and to become loving house or yard pets.

Lorrie Sprain works in administration at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. But she focuses a lot of her attention in a garden just a few feet away. It’s called the Marilyn & Fred Anderson Community Cat Garden, a fenced in area which feral cats call home.

This lady is a real life cat whisperer who talks lovingly and softly to the new kitties who arrive at the garden, gradually winning their trust and calming them down. She says, “”You have to have patience, and you can get them to come out and eventually you can pet them.”  The process can take a month but the rewards are great. This program has adopted out 260 felines.

Many feral cats taken to shelters are given a death sentence and this program gives them the second chance they deserve.
The community cat garden has been so successful, the Humane Society of Silicon Valley has gotten additional funding to expand it from a current capacity of about 12 to 24.

Bravo, purrs, head bonks and two paws up for this innovative program!

Pick A Cat Name Your Cat Will Answer To – Lifehacker

black and white cat under sofa

This is Oliver ignoring The Female Human

Dr. Uri Burstyn has created a YouTube video that gives you humans some insight into naming us felines.  The doctor explains that we felines have ears that are fine tuned to hear high pitched noises. He uses his cat Lancelot as an example. Lancelot doesn’t really respond to his name but if he hears “Lan-CEY!” he does pay attention.

Now this makes me wonder if this is why The Humans have nicknames for all of us. Maybe they instinctively figured out that we respond to some names and not others. For instance, Tucker is often referred to as “Tuck-EEE” and Jasmine is “Jaz-EEE”. Lily is often called Lily Bug or Bug but based on this doctor’s premise, The Humans should just call her “Lil-EEE”. Oliver is “Oll-EEE” bat sadly, I am referred to as “Alberto or Al”. Purrhaps it’s time The Humans gave me a new nickname!

New TV Show Looking for Crazy Cats – ChronicleLive.UK

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Once again our friends across the pond have something new and exciting for felines (and actually their humans as well). A new TV show is asking folks to send in information about their crazy cats. The call out from Athena Films, reads “We are on the lookout for crazy moggies for new series on when cats attack!

As hard as you many find it to believe, some of us do exhibit behavior that makes life with us a little difficult. You know, stuff like having to wear gloves and body armor to clip nails or needing an extra hour to get your furry family member into a carrier for that visit to the place with white coats. I certainly hope they will be offering advice and help to both the humans and the felines!

Aberdeen University’s favourite feline voted one of Europe’s cutest cats – The Press and Journal

white cat Buttons from Aberdeen college

Aberdeen University’s favourite feline, Buttons, has been voted one of Europe’s cutest cats in an international ranking of campus animals. Buttons is a white tomcat and is a celebrity on campus, known to spend most of his time near the philosophy department.

Study.Eu, which offers information on English-taught study programmes in Europe, chose the puss based on his “political ambitions”. Earlier this year Buttons was nominated by students to become the university’s new rector, a position once held by Sir Winston Churchill.

His supporters claimed that since the cat was “apolitical” and “fluffy,” he would have been the “ideal candidate”. Sadly, Buttons did not win the seat but remained in good spirits after the loss.

 

 

 

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 1/17

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‘Hello Friends,
Alberto with my regular Wednesday walk through the web searching for all things feline. I hope you like my weekly finds.
Purrs & Head Bonks,
Siamese cat with blue eyes

Dress Up Your Pet Day, A Truly Bad Idea – Mashable

angry Tabby cat in a sombrero

Those of you who follow our blog know that The Tribe of Five have very strong feelings about dressing up cats, case in point, my post about The Great Halloween Indignity and the humans attempt to stuff me into a dinosaur costume.  Believe it or not, there is a holiday called Dress Up Your Pet Day and if you humans out there have any intention of celebrating it by stuffing your feline into a ridiculous ensemble, I urge you to read this article and resist the urge to dress us up!

The Best Hobby Is Something That Has Absolutely  Nothing To Do With Your Job – THE CUT

cathobby

This writer has a revolutionary idea. Her hobby is cats. She helps to rescue cats, is involved iwth Trap Neuter Release (TNR) and even helps her friends with their cat care. She says she spends at least 10 hours a week on “cat related” stuff.  Pretty cool idea, even if you don’t have felines living with you, they can be your hobby and you can do something nice for them!

Vet Clinic Looking To Hire Cat Cuddler

cat cuddler job in Dublin, Ireland

And, if you want to make cats more than your hobby but your actual  job, don’t hesitate, get in touch with Just Cats Veterinary Clinic in Dublin, Ireland and apply for the job of cat cuddler (it’s a full time position).  I’ve read that if you understand the different types of purring, you’ll have an edge over the competition. This cat cuddling thing sounds like a dream job to me!

Nikola Tesla’s Cat and Other Feline Fascinations – How Stuff Works

Nikola Teslas black cat

Well, evidently there was a human named Nikola Tesla who invented some very cool things but this feline is less interested in the things he invented than the fact that his cat ionspired one of his most important contributions to the scientific world.  And then there was Simon, a stray feline found in Hong Kong in 1948, who is the only cat to have been awarded Britain’s prestigious Dickin Medal.  And then there’s the city in Belgium that trained 37 cats to deliver the mail to rural villagers. We felines are amazing animals, you don’t have to take my word for it, read the article!

What Makes A Cat’s Tail Puff Up When It’s Scared? – Mental Floss

brown cat with fuzzy tail ready to fight with dog

Around our house we have a pheomenon we refur to as “fuzzy tail”. Sometimes humans who visit us don’t understand why this happens to us or what caused it. This article explains the puffy tail issue quite well.  The short version is that when we get a fuzzy tail we are trying to make ourselves look as big as possible in order to intimidate whatever might be threatening us. Did you know there are other animals that experience something similar to our fuzzy tail phenomenon? Read the article and find out more.