Caturday felid trifecta: Cat drags duck inside house (it was fine), housebound man sends Human Resources complaint to his cat; Barney the Cemetery Cat dies. . . and lagniappe

April 18, 2020 • 9:00 am

Okay, one particular reader made a touching and heartfelt plea to retain the Caturday Felids, so I’ll try it for a while. As usual, today we have three items, with bonus lagniappe (that’s a redundancy).

Reader David sent a video and link that, he said, “combine two of your favourite topics, Cats and Ducks.”

In this video (and article below), the family cat appears to have killed a female mallard and dragged it through the catflap, but the mallard is only playing dead! They let it go and it seems fine. But they keep referring to this hen as a “he.” It’s a WOMAN DUCK!

Click on the screenshot to read an article in Metro about this incident; apparently the cat dragged the duck upstairs, though that’s not certain (it could have waddled up):

A quote:

Two-year-old Slippers managed to pull the bird through the cat flap and drag it up the stairs.

Dad Marcus Elliot-Square, 47, was downstairs getting ready for work at 6.30am when his startled wife Claire phoned him from the landing.

At first it appears the duck is dead — but it suddenly bursts into life and flaps into the bedroom as Claire shrieks in panic.

Marcus, an operations director, opens the window and eventually the lucky duck hops out to freedom.

He said: ‘I was downstairs early doors getting ready for another work day whilst in isolation.

‘I received a phone call from my wife who was upstairs saying that she thought our cat Slippers had caught a duck.

‘Now Slippers has got previous for pigeon rustling and catches on average a mouse every two days.

‘So in light of this I picked up my phone thinking that if this was indeed the case, I needed evidence.

‘I received a phone call from my wife who was upstairs saying that she thought our cat Slippers had caught a duck.

‘Now Slippers has got previous for pigeon rustling and catches on average a mouse every two days.

‘So in light of this I picked up my phone thinking that if this was indeed the case, I needed evidence.

As David wrote, “Personally I would have taken the duck to the vet, but it was quite heartwarming to see it fly off again at the end, as the family says I hope it has ‘a lovely long life and lots of children.’

Here’s the family from Metro:


From PopSugar (click on screenshot), we have this story (excerpt below):

Working from home during self-isolation can be hard to begin with. But throw a few pets in there, and well, many more hijinks usually take place. No one quite knows this better than Andrew Stych and his wife, Sheila, who are proud parents of four cats and a pit bull. Recently, Andrew and Sheila had been experiencing some mischief courtesy of their cat, Penelope, so Andrew decided to send a written complaint to his furry friend on behalf of HR to cheer Sheila up.

. . .When pressed for more details via text message, Andrew shared what Penelope has been up to for the last few weeks. “She likes to ‘help’ my wife with her spreadsheets and emails by walking on her laptop keyboard,” he told POPSUGAR. “She actually sent an unfinished email to one of her coworkers.” Yup, that sounds about right!

After getting Penelope to “sign” her name on the document, he showed it to Sheila, who absolutely loved the overly formal warning. “I love it, and it was well-deserved,” she said. “As household supervisor I have no problem putting my signature on it.”

Here’s the letter, “signed” by Penelope:


From Animal News we have an obituary for Barney the “cemetery cat” (click on screenshot):

He had an unusual but fulfilling life, as documented in the article:

The cat that wandered into a cemetery 20 years ago and spent his time comforting mourners has been laid to rest having died of old age. Barney the ginger tabby spent his days walking the grounds of a church burial site, consoling those visiting their loved one’s graves.

His death has led to an outpouring of grief from the local community as people paid tribute to this much-loved cat. Grounds keeper Alan Curzon said he has now been laid to rest at the place where he spent his entire life brightening up the lives of hundreds of people during their darkest moments.

The popular kitty originally lived with his owners next door to the St Sampson’s Cemetery in Guernsey, UK. But when they moved away he kept returning to his previous territory and was eventually re-homed there.

Alan, 63, the cemetery sexton who has helped look after Barney since 1996, said everyone was devastated. He said: “When relatives and friends have suffered the awful loss of someone close to them and go to visit a cemetery they are not in best frame of mind but Barney was always there to cheer them up. For those who entered the cemetery with a heavy heart, he lightened up the experience for them. When people walked through the gates, he often came up to them and brushed against them.”

“There was not a bad bone in his body. We are putting a plaque on the wall and a bench and have found a little space for him in the cemetery where he is buried as well.”

Barney was very loved by everyone that knew him and people loved him so much that they brought gifts to Barney during Christmas time. His invaluable support to all those that visited the cemetery is enough to bring tears your eyes. He was a true friend to all, a light in the midst of the shadows of sadness.  He was a true angel.

RIP Barney.


Lagniappe: A MythBusters video in which Adam Savage and sidekick have the job of herding eight cats from a big pen into a little one.  Do you think he succeeds? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.

h/t: Nicole, Ginger K., David

37 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Cat drags duck inside house (it was fine), housebound man sends Human Resources complaint to his cat; Barney the Cemetery Cat dies. . . and lagniappe

  1. Thank you for continuing the Caturday Trifecta. I need something to get me through the day and can’t have a cat any more. Pet free apartment.

    1. Yes, TGIC (the C is Caturday, and I don’t know what the G should stand for). Since our two black cats have shuffled off their furry little mortal coils and gone to the Great Catbox in the sky, I need to get a cat fix somewhere.

  2. Just after midnight (Sunday am) here in Tokyo. I had to check whether there would be a Caturday post before going to bed. And this is a fine one! Thanks, Prof!

  3. Thank you for another caterday! My wife and I were laughing at breakfast, which is a good thing in this time of plague.

    I still think it’s easier to herd cats than to get an academic unit to agree on space allocation.

  4. Poor old Barney. Very sad.

    I moved out of the old family farmhouse two years ago – we sold to a yuppie couple who have since turned it into a ‘glamping site’ – and had to leave the cats behind.

    I didn’t think about them much for a while, the chaos of the move was so overwhelming and huge. But they keep coming back to me now; I see cats that look like them and instinctively reach out, or I wake up and look around for them, and then remember they’re not here.

    The new family had children, and the children will probably love the cats even more than we did. Probably/hopefully. But still.

      1. My comment is an observation, not a sermon – unless it makes you feel guilty.

        Or simply explain how my comment is wrong.

        1. Our toothless and stoic cat Marcus Clawrelius (pretentious? moi?) has never committed a furlony. In all the years that we have had him he has caught just a single bird. (I suspect it can’t have been a very bright one, as Marcus has as many brain cells as he does teeth.) It happily survived the gumming he had given it before we rescued the poor thing. I fully appreciate that Marcus is an exception, but he goes to show that not all outside cats are ruthless killers. Keeping him inside would be unkind.

          1. Outdoor cats are ruthless killers of birds. Estimates vary and they are only estimates but the kill maybe one to four billion birds every year. The number two killer turns out to be windows it appears. I don’t want my cat to be outside because I don’t want them killing birds nor do I want them run over (or becoming coyote food).

      1. What’s the appropurriate follow-on to ditto?
        No idea, but thanks Jerry for keeping the kitties coming each weekend.

  5. I was worried about this being terminated. Really enjoyed the cat nonherding video. Thanks for “resurrecting” the series.

  6. Yay!! I like Caturday Felids!! I always read it, but there is nothing much to comment other than that it’s cute!

    1. I agree, always enjoy reading Caturday Felids, though I only comment if I have to say something, which unfortunately is not often.

  7. caturday felids makes my Sunday morning! Thank you for this one, and please keep them coming.

  8. Thank you so much for Caturday! I was so sorry to hear about Barney–he was a very handsome and dedicated boy.
    The herding cats video reminded me of an old tv commercial with several cowboys on horses, commenting about this being the most rewarding job they had ever had: herding cats. There were dozens and dozens of cats scampering across the landscape. For anyone who has ever had multiple cats it was extremely funny. Although I remember the ad quite vividly, I have no idea what product it was advertising.

  9. Caturday arrived in my inbox at 12.01 am (east coast Australia), 8 hours before I wake up, west coast is another 2 hours behind. Can’t help being tardy then! Love Caturday and forward it to half a dozen people, whom I will entreat to leave their own comments!

  10. I find that staring at an open laptop is a great way to herd the cats into whatever space I’m in. A can of wet food is also a highly effective way to herd them all into the basement.

  11. This was a great Caturday edition!

    When I need to herd cats (which is often), I find that Party Mix works wonders!

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