Caturday felid trifecta: Portraits of Maine Coon Cats; why cats knead; blissed-out lynxes (and lagniappe)

January 16, 2021 • 9:30 am

From My Modern Met, we have some awesome pictures of Maine Coon Cats, which are not only large, but have heads and faces that are more wolflike than catlike. Click on screen shot to see them all; I’ll show half a dozen:

They’re all photographed by one man on a mission from Ceiling Cat:

Photographer Robert Sijka took note of this majestic breed and decided to capture their big cat vibes in striking portraiture that showcases their budding beauty, from kittens to full-grown felines.

It comes as no surprise, but Sijka has two passions in life: photography and Maine Coon cats. The two, luckily, go hand in hand and are the result of a move to China he and his family made 14 years ago. “After a while,” he explains, “we started to miss the company of animals, they have always been in our lives. We fell in love with Maine Coons and my wife Izabella started a breeding program 8 years ago.”

After the first litter of kittens was born, Sijka knew they had to share the adorable creatures with the world. “I think my journey with photography started at this moment,” he recalled.“I decided that my pictures must be something special, just like Maine Coons are special. After several thousands of photos, I ended up with my current style and great pleasure from working with these amazing animals.”

It’s a challenge to photograph any animal, and cats provide an extra hurdle; they won’t sit still! Sijka has no magic formula, but rather he has two tried-and-true methods for capturing endearing images—lots of practice and much patience. There are plenty of opportunities for him to do so, especially since he and wife now have a cattery called OtiCami that houses 20 Maine Coon cats and kittens.

Sijka sells his work as prints, phone cases, blankets, and more in his online shop, the Felis Gallery.

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If you own cats, you probably already know why they “knead”, working their paws in a motion also called “making biscuits”. But Pocket has the answer according to SCIENCE (click on screenshot):

The upshot:

“This kneading, also known as ‘making bread’ or ‘making biscuits,’ is an instinctive feline behavior kittens display shortly after they’re born,” Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian and creator of the Healthy Pets blog, writes on her site. “The reason for the movement in kittenhood is to stimulate the flow of milk from the mother’s mammary glands.” Cats who knead in adulthood could be “showing contentment,” according to Becker, or simply marking their territory since cat’s paws contain sweat glands.

While there’s always the chance that a kitty kneading is your cat’s attempt to claim you as their own — which, of course, you are — experts say kneading is probably as tender and adorable as it looks.

“If you do have a cat who kneads their bedding, or better yet you, it’s because they’re feeling very loved and comfortable,” Katie Armour, project coordinator at MSPCA Boston Adoption Centertells The Dodo. “You should absolutely take this as a compliment!”

From the Dodo, videos of cats making biscuits. There’s enough catpower here to feed a dozen Southerners!

So says SCIENCE! But wait—there’s more!

“It is interesting to note that cats can produce a chemical for marking between their toes (interdigital semiochemical) that they can release when they flex their toes, so your cat could also be labeling you as a safe part of their territory,” Dr. Kathryn Primm, a veterinarian at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee, writes in a blog for iHeartCats.

Well, SCIENCE is just speculating here. . . .

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Finally, we have two tame lynxes that were presumably rescued and unable to return to the wild. They’re too wild to make good house cats, but they’re tame enough to pet and even rub their bellies! Notes are from YouTube:

Max Canada Lynx, the educational animal ambassador takes a moment to get some good scratchin’ before he sits down for his meal. He was born at a zoo in May 2011. Max is not domesticated but has been humanized. He still has wild tendencies. He educates the public locally on the endangered/threatened (in lower 48 states) Canada Lynx in hopes that people will be driven to conserve our environment and protect our wildlife. Technically, they are listed as “threatened” but in my state of NY they are considered “extirpated.” However, it’s legal to trap these beautiful animals in Canada and Alaska.

He is NOT declawed. During the winter he weighs 40 pounds and summer about 34. He has about 4 inches of fur in this video which makes him look fat….I mean fluffy!

This video is NOT taken in my home but where he has an indoor enclosure. This is Max’s rug with his fur, straw and other scents that he loves. He doesn’t like the vacuum. Max also has outdoor housing where he spends most of his time.

Wouldn’t you like to pet this guy? Listen to that purr!

Meet Yoki the Canadian Lynx at Big Run Wolf Ranch!

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Lagniappe: Today’s New York Times has this lovely article about a woman who relieves her pandemic-induced loneliness by fostering kitten (click on screenshot).  But then they have to ruin it by dragging in social justice, for crying out loud:

It takes a certain level of privilege to foster animals at a time when many New Yorkers are struggling to take care of themselves and their families. The pandemic has underscored the vast disparities among New York’s human residents, which then trickle down to the city’s cats.

They can’t keep that stuff out of even human-interest articles on fostering cats. Well, ignore it and read the piece by clicking on the screenshot:

h/t: Jean, Divy, Peter

9 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Portraits of Maine Coon Cats; why cats knead; blissed-out lynxes (and lagniappe)

  1. My kneady cat puts me to sleep. At least when I’m wearing thick “fur” (clothing) or have recently trimmed her nails. I wonder if it has a similar effect on a mother cat.

  2. Had my tiny Devon Rex female ‘Heavenly Mink’, aka Minky, in cat shows for a couple of years (she became a quadruple grand champion) and seeing the Maine Coons here reminded me of those days. What beautiful, calm, loving fur-babies they were. I do remember thinking that at 100-lbs myself, I was too small to own one. Every single one I saw was happy to be carried around and wanted to be on the backs, laps, shoulders of their people. I had a full-grown 8.5-lb. Devon who identified as a bad-ass – and these owners had 20-lb+ needy, cuddle-bugs. Sigh. My little bad-ass girl is 14 years old now and still sassy and bossy with me.

  3. Perhaps the New Yorker should add that it takes a certain level of privilege to write for the New Yorker too. The magazine owes its existence to the privileged as well, but I’m guessing the magazine doesn’t want to upset its clientele.

  4. Wouldn’t you like to pet this guy? Listen to that purr!

    If you could bottle that and put it into – is it “Harley Davidsons” that make a big thing about the sound of their engines? Well, make your bike engine really purr.

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