Walk Through The Web Wednesday 6/2

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Sunny Wednesday Furiends!
At least it’s sunny in our neck of the woods. The Human hasn’t done much interesting and we felines have just been relaxing and sunning on the upstairs deck any time we are allowed out (supervised, of course).

Oh how we love the upstairs deck!

The Human also did a little work in the front yard and the front porch. Can you see the cats hanging on our front door?

And now Oliver is trying to hog the iPad to watch his favorite channel of Cat TV!

That’s just about it for anything newsworthy at our house, things have been pretty quiet but sometimes, quiet is good!

‘Catsy’: Artist wins over Wokingham with kitty creations

If any of my readers are aficionados of the street artist Banksy, I guarantee you’ll love the artist Catsy who has been stenciling cats all around a Berkshire market town. The art appeared about a year ago and now can be found all over the area.

The cats, created with a cardboard stencil, a spray can and some stick on eyes have appeared along the street where children walk to school and a fence outside a nursing home. When the nursing home fence blew down, the old cat was cut out of the old fence and nailed to the new one.


Why did Catsy decide cats were the best way to make his mark on the town he has lived in all his life? “Cats are a simple image artistically that stands out, it’s just something nice that is easily identifiable and inoffensive.” He said, “My mission was for people to see them and smile, and it’s working out way better than I was expecting.”

Old Idaho Penitentiary continues to celebrate Dennis the Cat’s birthday after 69 years

The Old Idaho Penitentiary in Boise was the territorial prison and built in 1872. In 1952 one of the prison’s most well-known residents arrived – Dennis the Cat.

In the 1950s, the prison was in use and expanding, adding building number four and the maximum security building. All construction was done by the inmates.

In 1952, as the story goes, an inmate came into the prison through gate two, carrying a box with a cat inside. The inmate passed it off to another inmate to hide the cat from guards, feeding it scraps. That cat was soon named Dennis the Cat. No one has ever figured out who the prisoner was that brought the cat in.


For 16 years, Dennis the Cat was the official/unofficial pet of the prison.

“I mean they had been keeping him secret, they had been keeping him hidden, they’d been sneaking him snacks, they’d been sneaking him food,” Jacey Brian, the education specialist at the historical site, explained.

It wasn’t long until the warden found out about the cat, but allowed the prisoners to keep Dennis as long as there was no trouble over the cat.  

Dennis quickly won everyone over, prisoners and guards alike. “The guards would open gates for Dennis, letting him come and go as he pleased.

There were other cats before Dennis but Dennis had a special place in everyone’s heart because his role was more of a pet rather than a mouser. He lived quite well in the barbershop with his own bed on the counter.

Legend says that Dennis lived at the old state pen from May 30, 1952, to May 30, 1968. When he passed, he was given a full-service funeral in the prison’s cemetery.  Dennis the Cat has the only marked grave at the old pen. The prison newspaper reported that there wasn’t a dry eye in the yard that day. 

Sixty-nine years after he was born, the Old Idaho Penitentiary continues to celebrate Dennis’s birthday on May 30. This year there was even a Dennis the Cat Day, on May 30 with special presentations on the prison’s feline inmate every half hour, food trucks and a prison paws scavenger hunt.  Those attending were asked to “pay” with unopened pet food that were donated to the Idaho Humane Society and Simply Cats.

Kittens and champagne make the purr-fect pairing at Cat Palace in Pacific Beach

The Champagne Palace in Pacific Beach, California. This café rolls out the red carpet (literally) for it’s adoptees and features roses, string lights and paintings on the pink walls. There’s even a disco ball and a classical violinist to greet you at the door.

The place may look fancy but it’s mission is serious and that mission is to give felines furever homes. With a $20.00 donation, guests are invited into this regal space to spend an hour cuddliong and playing with the adoptable cats in residence (who are referred to as “princes” and “princesses” and to sip a glass of bubbly.

General manager and cat lover Tara Boornazian said she was inspired to start the animal rescue after visiting The Cat Lounge in La Jolla and The Cat Cafe in downtown. She wanted to bring the concept to Pacific Beach, swapping the coffee for something more bubbly.After months of planning during the pandemic, Cat Palace finally opened its doors in April. Since then, the nonprofit’s “princes and princesses” have been successful in finding furever homes, even from tourists who come and visit and fall in love with a purrrticular prince or princess.

If you can’t visit in person, you can check out adoptable cats online.

Fur-miliar faces: Cats take up residency in Sioux Falls greenhouses

Jazmine, the resident cat at Landscape Garden Centers, sits where she fits. Photo courtesy of Landscape Garden Centers.

I’ve reported on cats working in all kinds of places, bodegas, breweries, libraries and the list goes on. Now there’s a new job market for felines – working in garden centers. At least three plant nurseries in the Sioux Falls area — Landscape Garden Centers, Cliff Avenue Greenhouse & Garden Center and Oakridge Nursery & Landscaping in Brandon — have cats that hide among flower pots and trail gardeners through the aisles of annuals and seedlings.

The cats do have work to do as “as long-tailed security guards” who prevent, mice, bunnies and gophers from taking up residence in the warm-walled buildings. But they also add friendship and fun to the workers and visitors to the centers.

Jazmine, featured in the photo above clawed her way through the plastic closed-off lean-to at Landscape Garden Centers.

She kept herself hidden under the soft drink machine for a while but the brutal cold and lack of food caused her ears to be frostbitten and her stomach to growl. “Then one day in the winter, she was just standing by the door looking in, like ‘I really need some help,'” Jessica Meendering, a retail manager for the greenhouse said. The staff took Jazmine in, and the next day someone brought cat food. She spent the remaining winter months regaining her strength at an employee’s house across from the greenhouse, but she often visited the greenhouse as the spring rolled around.

Then one day, she decided to stay. Now, plant shoppers can often find her sprawled out near the houseplants, following customers through the saplings or taking a few bites out of the catmint before a midday nap. “She knows we saved her,” Meendering said. “She’s a survivor.”

Taking care of Jazmine has been a community effort since the beginning, Meendering said. Customers sometimes bring her food, employees take turns checking her food bowl, and there’s even a “Jazmine fund” at the front of the store for donations toward her veterinarian bills. Any donations left over at the end of the year? Jazmine donates to help other local rescue cats in need.

There are some other heartwarming stories about the garden center cats in Sioux Falls in the article.

Feline fine: Coventry woman wins baking competition with cat-inspired creation

Jay Urquhart-Pettifer landed first place in Cats Protection’s Pawsome Baking Challenge with a cake made to look just like balls of wool and little felines based on cats she has owned through the years.

The competition was judged by Great British Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy, who praised Jay’s cake, saying it would “bring a smile to anyone’s face”.

Jay said: “I’m so glad Kim-Joy liked my ball of wool showstopper and it’s given me extra confidence in my baking.

This feline says this is a purrrrfect tribute to the cats in Jay’s life and to help local kitties in her area. For information about this competition, click here.

Walk Through The Web Wednesday 5/12

siamese cat on a leash walking through a garden

Happy Wednesday Furiends,
We are happy as we again have our Purrsonal Assistant under control and my Wednesday feature is happening on…..Wednesday!

We are still suffering through the dreaded D-I-E-T. Frankly, I don’t think Oliver has lost an ounce.

‘Excuse me Human. I am in dire need of kibble. Not only can you see the bottom of my bowl, there is not even ONE single piece of kibble there. Please put down your book and assist a dying feline!”
“What are you thinking about Al”
“Chasing birds from the Cat TV show. What are you thinking about Oliver/’
“Kibble, big piles of fresh kibble.”
“If Oliver doesn’t shut up about kibble I’m going to walk over there and give him a big whacky paw!”

Now you may think that the D-I-E-T was the only topic of conversation this week but you would be wrong. We received a nice email from a human named Jayne who told us we’d been featured on the “top 18 list of most underrated cat bloggers” on the Cat Informer blog. You can read about us and the other 17 meowvelous cat blogs here. Thank you Cat Informer!

And now, let’s get to this weeks findings for best feline news on the web.

Tennessee Woman teaches your cat to hike

Laura Partain says the #1 essential in packing for a hike is her cat. After spending four to five months working with the formerly timid feline, she now has a trail blazer. Partain has two cats who hike with her and needless to say, they attract a lot of attention when they are hiking. They also sparked an idea.. She said, “I really want to help people see their cats in a different way and to get out of the mindset of ‘Oh, my cat would never do that.’ She wants people to look at their cat and say, ‘How can I help this cat to have a better life. How can I help enrich this cat’s life and train them?’ They’re actually really fun to train,” said Partain, who grew up training show goats. To that end, Partain created the  Tennessee Cat Adventure Club, and so far she’s trained 14 new adventure cats.

She says it’s best if people train their cats themselves but she does offer training assistance as cat’s require some specialized training techniques. Dogs will learn things because they want to please you. Cats (and goats) are more transactional. (Who knew we fabulous felines had that in common with goats?)  In other words, felines want to know what’s in it for them and what the pay offs (treats) are. This means food is always required for training sessions. Her two most important tips are, have treats handy and make sure you have a harness that fits your cat well.

Recently Partain has partnered with Tennessee State Parks to encourage pet owners to use a leash on the trail. She said leashes allow all animals, including cats, to get out and enjoy the beauty of Tennessee. 

Meowza that hiking thing sounds like it might be fun!

Meet the cats fighting Chicago’s rat problem

If you’re a regular reader of my Wednesday web wanderings you know I love to feature stories about working cats. This story is a bit different than most as it’s not about a brewery, bookstore or bodega “hiring” a feline but about feral cats placed on the Chicago streets to deal with the problem this city, known as “the rattiest city in America” has had for years.

Since 2012, the Tree House Humane Society has placed over 1,000 feral cats onto Chicago streets.

The mere presence of the cats and their pheromones, are enough to keep the rats away.

I was a bit concerned about these felines being “tossed into the streets” but this isn’t the case at all. Cats are spayed or neutered “pre-employment” and “employers” are screened and required to provide food, water, shelter, and wellness to the cats who work for them. In most cases, these cats become beloved members of the family or team and some even have their own Instagram pages! If you live in Chicago and want to hire a feline, you can apply at Tree House’s website.

Couple builds mini-bedroom for their cat, complete with a TV for watching birds on YouTube

I only have one thing to say…..”Human, you need to step up your game!”

Twitter user @CinnamonBear9 shared photos of her meowvelous kitty bedroom with bed, bedspread that matches mom’s and dad’s, pictures on the walls, a rug, a miniature chair, some tiny yarn balls, and a mini scratching post. And the pièce de résistance? A wooden wall frame that holds a tablet (or “big screen TV to a cat) for endless hours of cat video watching on YouTube.

And how has the feline reacted to this pawsome bedroom? He naps in there and watches bird TV. Paws up for these creative humans for going above and beyond for their kitty!

Why cats may have more to teach us about living the good life than Socrates

Socrates is credited with saying “the unexamined life is not worth living.” For centuries, you humans have looked to philosophy as a way to contemplate and answer many of life’s biggest, toughest questions.

British philosopher John Gray opines that cats can often teach us much more about living the good life than philosophy ever could.

In his book, Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of Life, Gray examines the nature of our philosophical pursuits, and finds them wanting.

“In humans, discontent with their nature seems to be natural,” he writes. “With predictably tragic and farcical results, the human animal never ceases striving to be something that it is not.” He says cats make no such effort. Cats exist to serve their most immediate needs and keep themselves safe from danger.

Although this feline would argue that Gray makes us sound a bit shallow, I do have to agree.

Gray points out that cats aren’t philosophical about death. Cats refuse to quietly surrender to death from a predator. They’ll fight to the very, very end to protect themselves or their kittens if they’re female cats. So they have a strong love of life when they’re healthy, and when they’re sickening, they tend to crawl to some quiet, shadowy place where they, in a sense, they aim to die.

Gray says you humans shouldn’t try to be cats but maybe you should overthink a little less. I think that’s good advice!

Mount Washington Observatory welcomes new summit cat, Nimbus

Here’s another great working cat story. This Onway, N.H. cat, named for a type of cloud is taking his place above the clouds in his new home at the Mount Washington Observatory.

Nimbus was chosen from four candidates at the Conway Area Humane Society. His sociable attitude as well as his large repertoire or meows, chatters and purrs won him the job.  

Nimbus’ predecessor, Marty crossed the Rainbow Bridge in late 2020. The observatory employees said it was a long search as the new hire would have big paws to fill.

MWO Summit Operations Manager Rebecca Scholand said. “The summit cat is such a special part of our living environment on the summit, making it feel much more like a home on our weeklong shifts.”

Nimbus, we say “concatulations” on your new home and new career!

Good Help Is Hard To Find

The Tribe and I are considering advertising for a new Purrsonal Assistant.

Hello Furiends,
Well, our Purrsonal Assistant FINALLY figured out how to get back the final and correct revision of my Walk Through The Web Wednesday post last week. Why it took her five days to get this done is beyond me. She keeps meowing about a holiday and a sinus infection-really? Does this human not understand the meaning of a deadline?

Sigh, if she wasn’t also the server and cleaner for The Tribe we might consider replacing her but then again, I would miss the morning snuggles and evening head scratches and snacks. I guess you could say she has job security,