We had a near disaster at our house this week and rather than writing about it I thought I’d tell you the story in photos.
The Great Chewy Debacle
It all started when Oliver realized the food bowls were empty
He marched himself to the pantry to assess the situation.
The Human tried to calm Oliver down, explaining that she would put in an order to Chewy. I, being the “take charge” kind of feline I am marched into the office to check on the progress of said order.
The Human (using a tone that we felt was a bit snarky and disrespectful) said yes, she did send in the order and no one would starve.
The Human spent the rest of the day reassuring us that starvation will not happen but, as the hours passed, we felines decide we need to have a back up plan.
After the first day passed and there was no sign of a chewy box, The Tribe realized that they would need to step up the pressure.
We knew we could not let up.
I felt it was quite rude that she mumbled something under her breath and stomped out of the room.
Then came that magical day when the doorbell rang and a loud thump was heard on the porch. We sat and watched The Human wrangle the heavy box inside. When she managed to get the box on the kitchen counter to make it easier to unpack, I arrived as Chief Snoopervisor.
After I commandeered the box for the appropriate amount of time, I stepped away so she could take out the contents. Once she was done, I investigated the inside of the box.
Once the contents of the box and the box itself had been approved, The Tribe did a happy dance, confident in the knowledge that we’d managed to avoid starvation. Let this be a lesson to the humans belonging to all our furiends, “Stay on top of the Chewy order!”
Well, that was the drama we endured this week in our neck of the woods. I hope your week was drama free. Now let’s get on to this week’s feline news.
Turkey’s graceful Van cats give birth to 2022’s first kittens
The Turkish Van is an elegant feline and is noted for it’s pure white body and distinctive eyes. And these felines are cared for in the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ), Van Cat Research and Application Center where they are taken under protection. A total of 23 mother cats and their 60 kittens reside in special rooms.
Last month, YYÜ Van Cat Research Center participated in the “Van Cat Beauty Contest” with two cats out of a total of 32 Van cats in the competition. Mia, with blue and green eyes, took home the first-place medal. It sounds like these cats have it made!
Cat food with activated AIM protein launched
This is a topic near and dear to our hearts. Our Angel Jasmine dealt with kidney disease for many years and The Human gave her SubQ fluids and medication regularly. Now, cats may benefit from a dietary supplement and a drug that will both allow the protein AIM (apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage) to properly clean and expel waste matter in a cat’s kidneys that is being combined in a cat food.
The food (named AIM30), which recently came out, and the veterinary medicine, expected in 2023 pending successful 2022 clinical trials and government approval, are the byproducts of Japanese immunologist Professor Toru Miyazaki’s decades of work on AIM, a protein which, when not properly activated, contributes to kidney problems in cats.
Miyazaki, a professor specializing in disease biology and immunology at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Medicine, discovered AIM protein in the1990s. His goal was to study AIM to treat human disease, but he also became very interested in feline AIM. He now has plans to leave his teaching career at the University of Tokyo so he can focus on AIM research at the nonprofit he intends to establish, the Institute for AIM Medicine.
AIM, also known as CD5-like (CD5L), is described as a secreted protein that can help identify and destroy dead cells and other debris in the body. Miyazaki’s research found that AIM attaches itself to IgM [immunoglobulin M] antibodies and from there proceeds to clean the body of waste and debris.
In September 2021, Miyazaki ran into funding problems because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the success of feline AIM research at stake, thousands of Japanese cat lovers came to the rescue by sending almost US$2 million in donations to the University of Tokyo so Miyazaki’s work could continue.
Realizing the impact his team’s work would have on so many lives, Miyazaki tapped a new pharmaceutical company as partner to speed up development of a prototype drug and start a clinical trial for felines with kidney problems. The drug’s efficacy will be assessed six months after trial and, if successful, will be subject to government approval.
“I hope that ultimately veterinarians will give (cats) one or two jabs every year like vaccines,” Miyazaki told AFPBB News, the Japanese affiliate of AFP.
Meanwhile, Miyazaki’s team and an unnamed pet food company worked to produce a cat food with the AIM protein in stable condition. Miyazaki said what works for humans as far as using dietary supplements with activated AIM protein also works in cats. The cat supplement, which will activate the non-functional AIM in the cat’s blood, promises to prevent kidney disease when mixed in cats’ food from the time they’re kittens.
The AIM-based therapeutic drug and food supplement for cats are expected to prolong cats’ lives by doubling their current life expectancy of roughly 15 years by promoting healthy renal function. Now that would be pawsome!
Slip-purrs! Cat becomes a social media star after owner makes him shoes made out of his own FUR
A cat went viral after his owner made slippers for him out of his fur and shared a photo online.
Minira, the one-year-old Minuet breed, lives with his owner in Japan and has racked up 85,000 YouTube subscribers with clips of his adorable antics.
He also has thousands of fans on Twitter and Instagram. In one recent post, his owner, who is not named, showed how she made Minira a pair of slippers out of she collects during his regular brushing.
‘Cat Daddies’ documentary
Men who love cats are manly men. Mye Hoang, a Los Angeles-based producer and director who’s earned writing and directing awards for several films, created a new documentary “Cat Daddies.” The film’s goal isn’t so much to convince everyone to love cats, but to debunk myths of cats and the humans who love them.
“Cat Daddies,” is scheduled to screen at Long Beach’s indie Art Theatre on Retro Row on Saturday, April 16. The event will be a fundraiser for Long Beach cat rescue The Little Lion Foundation (scroll down to Great Furballs of Fun).
“I think men have always been conditioned to love dogs over cats—this is further perpetuated by the images we see in movies and TV in the past, and from jokes about the ‘crazy cat lady,’ which I hope is going out of fashion,” Hoang said. “We see that changing now with social media and the internet—everyone has a camera at home, and we can see more authentic footage of how cats behave.”
Hoang herself said that she observed her husband transform from meh-on-meowsers into a staunch cat guy after they adopted their first cat. “He seemed to grow into a softer, more patient and compassionate person,” she said. “This inspired me to find more men who had undergone a similar transformation and document their stories.”
“Cat Daddies”’s pivotal character is David Giovanni, a disabled, unhoused person living in New York City with his beautiful brown tabby, Lucky. Both are determined to remain together despite a devastating medical diagnosis for David and an uncertain transitional housing status for him thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interspersed throughout David’s narrative are a crew of firefighters who successfully snuck a stray cat into the fire station, an actor and social-media influencer, a buffed and tatted stuntman, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker and a teacher whose cat becomes an Instagram sensation.
Cat Daddies through the years have embraced the joys and challenges of living with us felines. Mark Twain’s cats knocked his inkwells off the table and batted at the clacking bars on his typewriter. Ernest Hemingway loved cats; descendants of his many-toed polydactyls still live happily at his former home on Key West.. Ricky Gervais’ moggies appear frequently on his social media pages.
“The film may not convert everyone to love cats, but I hope seeing images of men caring for these little creatures wins over a few skeptics and becomes a catalyst for compassionate change,” Hoang said. Pun intended, surely.
And Speaking of Cat Daddies….
And speaking of Cat Daddies, a video of a man was shared in Reddit’s “Made Me Smile” forum on Tuesday by an anonymous poster under the name u/SnooCupcakes8607. The post has since generated more than 42,000 upvotes and over 500 comments from Redditors who declared the man the “best cat dad ever.”
The post also highlights one of the many ways in which cats show their affection for their owners—by cuddling up to them.
“After saving the kitties he won’t go anywhere without them anymore,” wrote u/SnooCupcakes8607 in the post’s title.
The video opens with the man walking into his bedroom while wearing a bathrobe with two front pockets, each of which contains a kitten. When the man approaches his bed, one of the kittens quickly jumps out of his pocket, but the other decides to stay put.
“Alexander don’t want to get out,” he said to the camera, referring to the one kitten still sitting in his bathrobe.
In the next frame, Alexander—who is still in the man’s pocket—stares up at the man as he brushes his teeth. Alexander stretches his paws up and lets out a big yawn, and in response, his owner absentmindedly reaches down and strokes one of his paws.
Needless to say, thousands of humans have been charmed by these pocket kittens and a few female humans are wondering where they can find a cat daddy like this!