Caturday felid trifecta: Bohemian Catsody; a Pittsburgh cat rescue collective; why your cat doesn’t want you to work from home; and lagnaiappe

November 6, 2021 • 9:30 am

People either love or hate this video; I’m one of the former. The words are very clever and it’s an excellent parody. You WILL listen to the whole thing.

 

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From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, a story about a cooperative cat-saving effort. Click on the screenshot to read:

It started with a cat hoarder:

When stray cats showed up around the Armstrong County home of a disabled veteran and his wife, the kind-hearted animal lovers took them in.

By Aug. 1, the couple’s census of unneutered and unspayed cats had swelled to 61.

At this point, a humane officer stepped in and the rescue began:

When local police asked Armstrong County Humane Police Officer Chris Jirak O’Donnell for assistance, she knew there was no local rescue or shelter that could care for that many cats.

“One place told me they do not handle hoarding cases because they do not have the resources,” Mrs. O’Donnell said. “One big hoarding case can bankrupt a small non-profit, and everyone is swamped with cats and kittens. But I thought, ‘How can we walk away from this?’ ”

A Kittanning veterinary clinic, four shelters and four rescues in four counties (Allegheny, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland) banded together to form a Humane Action Team. The cats are all getting the care they need, including the surgeries needed to halt the production of more kittens.

Unlike many hoarding situations that attract media coverage, the cats and the veteran, who has PTSD, were not living in filth and squalor.

“I did not see one skinny cat, and most of them were friendly,” Mrs. O’Donnell said. “I can’t imagine what they spent each week on cat food and litter.

And so they found shelters:

A Kittanning veterinary clinic, four shelters and four rescues in four counties (Allegheny, Armstrong, Indiana and Westmoreland) banded together to form a Humane Action Team. The cats are all getting the care they need, including the surgeries needed to halt the production of more kittens.

Unlike many hoarding situations that attract media coverage, the cats and the veteran, who has PTSD, were not living in filth and squalor.

“I did not see one skinny cat, and most of them were friendly,” Mrs. O’Donnell said. “I can’t imagine what they spent each week on cat food and litter.

The couple kept 20 cats, and here is the list of organizations that helped with the other forty, giving them what medical attention they needed, vaccinating them, and neutering them:

Here’s the amazing tally of helpers involved in this case, in addition to HARP [Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh]:

• Orphans of the Storm in Kittanning took several mother cats and kittens. Mrs. O’Donnell is a long-time volunteer there. For the past 10 months she has “worked” as the shelter’s humane officer, but they do not have funds to pay her.

• Animal Friends took multiple cats, some with medical issues.

• Champion’s Crusaders Rescue in Vandergrift took a pregnant cat.

• Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley in New Kensington plans to take a few cats.

• Four Footed Friends in Indiana took several cats.

• Frankies Friends in New Kensington treated and found a home for a kitten with eye issues.

• Kiski Valley Cat & Kitten Rescue in Apollo took a few cats.

• Veterinarian Sandra Rodkey and Altmeyer Veterinary Hospital in Kittanning donated foster-home care packages with medicine and food for volunteers caring for felines.

You may be asking, as I did, “Well, did any of the shelter cats get euthanized?”  I don’t think so: HARP appears to be a no-kill shelter, and I suspect the rest are, too.  The original couple could have been prosecuted for various violations involving cat-hoarding, but they weren’t, and I suspect they’re taking good care of their 20 moggies. And so the tail ends well.

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Mental Floss has a piece on why your cat doesn’t like you working from home (click on screenshot):

The reason? You can guess, and here’s what the Cat Experts say:

The internet has been abuzz with stories from people who have settled into work-from-home routines under the glare of their felines, who appear confused and/or annoyed that their owner is looming large during the day in addition to the evening. This is a serious disruption to many cats’ routine, and Fluffy isn’t having it.

“It’s not that cats don’t want us around, it’s that they are highly reactive to change and therefore prone to get stressed,” Rachel Geller, Ed.D., a cat behaviorist with Wellness Natural Pet Food, tells Mental Floss. “Working from home is a change, and a change in schedule that can be unsettling to cats … Whether it’s sleeping later, having a different meal schedule, setting up the house differently to accommodate a home office, receiving more deliveries throughout the day, or even something as little as different light patterns, cats are reactive to these changes even if they seem small to humans.”

The reason for their disgruntlement comes down to habit. Cats like the familiar, and when a human schedule is revised, so is theirs. “Most cats have a set pattern they follow every day that typically matches up with our schedules and routine, and this routine-driven life helps cats feel safe and confident, meaning pet parents will want their cat’s routine to be as consistent as possible,” Geller says.

These cats are clawing up stuff and peeing all over the place. My own solution for those people who are making their cats feel unsafe (this is, you know, a form of violence) is to GET BACK TO THE OFFICE.

But there are other—in my view, inferior—solutions:

So how can owners avoid stepping in cat puddles or finding their favorite sweater reduced to a ball of yarn? The key, Geller says, is in engaging them to release their stress. “One way to do this is with an interactive play session with a fishing pole-type toy that helps build confidence in your cat because they can ‘hunt’ and ‘conquer’ the toy successfully,” she says. “Interactive play sessions create good feelings, positive associations, and feelings of success, all while releasing tension.”

Vertical spaces are always useful, too. Cats, after all, like to survey their fiefdoms. “Elevated spaces give a cat safety and security and cats love the ability to survey their home from a secure vantage point,” Geller says. “Climbing and jumping up to elevated spaces and then watching the world go by prevents anxiety and stress, and boredom. Vertical space allows the cat to pretend they are navigating to faraway places and having fun journeys, all while keeping them busy and active.”

The second strategy is to retain as much of their old routine as possible. “Feed your cat at the same time, have regularly scheduled play sessions, and maintain a consistent daily schedule, the best you can,” Geller advises.

Cats also benefit from not being isolated. While closing yourself off to get your head into the workday is intuitive for humans, it might upset the emotionally vulnerable cat in your space: “If you can, try not to close the door and lock your cat out of your home workspace or office.”

Remember, THE CAT IS THE BOSS.  And don’t forget that the same kind of trauma can happen when your cat, used to you working from home, sees you resume going back to the office. Solving this is harder, but THE CAT IS THE BOSS and this is what you must do:

Start leaving the house for a couple of hours at the time you will be leaving to go to work. Get up at the time you will need to get out of bed when you return to the office and start back in with your normal routine—showering in the morning, eating breakfast and so forth. Get your cat used to the new feeding schedule. Let your cat ease into the transition. When your cat has the opportunity to learn that the new schedule and routine doesn’t harm her or have any consequences, he or she will not react negatively.”

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Lagniappe: A cat butt cookie cutter. I hope at least one reader buys one! Only nine bucks! Click on screenshot to order

 

h/t: Mary M., Ginger K., Thomas

8 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Bohemian Catsody; a Pittsburgh cat rescue collective; why your cat doesn’t want you to work from home; and lagnaiappe

  1. I loved the whole Rhapsody!

    What a great rescue story. 61 cats in total at a house is an overwhelming amount…. and growing. I’m glad they found a way to save them.

  2. A+++ standing ovation for the Bohemian Catsody! Thank you for sharing, Prof. Ceiling Cat!

    “Mama, just killed a mouse/Ate it all except the head/That’s your present on your bed” LOL

    1. I agree with your rating! I laughed out loud at that part and kept on laughing. They absolutely nailed cat logic. Caturday is becoming a highlight of the week for me. I love it too that I can enjoy something like that with other cat lovers.

  3. I sent one of the cookie cutters to a friend who has two grade-school children. They love taking cat-butt cookies to school.

  4. Our home is a six cat household and we love them all devotedly. Six is a lot of work and cost but we have always enjoyed the company of lots of cats. How someone could manage sixty I couldn’t believe the commitment. But a good ending to the rescue story and admiration to all involved. The “rhapsody “ is tremendous and definitely one to keep for future enjoyment. I am always impressed with the skill that creates such masterpieces.
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. Bohemian Catsody was clever and hilarious…not to mention mesmerizing. I have a puppy that goes for my big toe, but he’ll probably grow out of it.

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