No Readers’ Wildlife today, as it’s a holiday and I have to conserve the contributions I have. Instead, have a Caturday post!
If you’ve ever owned a cat, particularly one with long hair, you know that after a bath they all look pathetic—like drowned rats. This article at !!OMG BLOG!! shows some sad pictures of wet moggies (click on title to read; photos also at Sad and Useless.
Here are six soggy moggies. I think the penultimate one is the saddest.
A great idea on I Heart Cats. How stupid of me not to have thought of that, for I could travel and also stay for a while in different places and ALSO TAKE CARE OF CATS!
Click to read:
Madolline Gourley is a writer, traveler, and self-described cat lover. She has managed to fund her worldwide travels in the most unique and innovative way: pet-sitting cats.
In a blog dedicated to her amazing travel adventures, Gourley explains that she finds pet-sitting jobs in her goal destinations through popular housesitting sites such as Trusted Housesitters or Mind My House. She then offers to trade her services as a pet and house-sitter in exchange for free accommodation.
The pictures are from Gourley’s website, One Cat At a Time. (She also has an Instagram page.)
And despite the competition, Gourley believes that she lands these gigs successfully due to her experience and pure love for cats:
“I’ve had cats since I was little and my mum is a big cat fan, too. She’s also had cats all her life,” said Gourley, “When I found out about the whole house/pet sitting for accommodation thing, I only wanted to do it looking after cats because I’ve only ever cared for cats.”
Gourley has had a TON of publicity. And she gets a lot of approbation from people for whom she’s cat-sat (sitted?)
Gourley estimates that traveling this way has saved her at least $28,000 over the past five years. After all, accommodation is easily the most expensive part of travel. In the United States, the average cost of a hotel room is $90-100 per night. And for a traveler who is looking to spend days or weeks in various destinations, that can definitely add up!
By pet-sitting for family cats, Gourley is able to stay in her travel destinations without spending a dime on housing. And while there are various other expenses that she pays for with her 9-to-5 (airline tickets, food, etc.), Gourley explains that she has been able to travel more than she ever thought possible due to the kindness of families who need a reliable sitter for their beloved pets.
Her website says that of June 30, she’s on the road again. She also has a list of places she’d like to visit, so if you live in one of them and have a cat, think of Madoline!
This sad news comes from Sixth Tone, a Chinese site. Click screenshot to read:
It turns out that the economic downturn in China is forcing companies to lay off their “office cats,” which are very popular in the country:
During the venture capital fat years, many startups adopted cats as office mascots, to build a warm atmosphere, or for good luck. Search “company cat” on social network Xiaohongshu, and hundreds of videos of these white-collar cats pop up. One poster said their company has seven.
But in recent times a weak economy and pandemic-era restrictions have decimated the startup scene. When companies shut down offices or go out of business, office cats can wind up out of a job, and a home. Chinese non-fiction platform TrumanStory profiled four laid-off cats in tech hubs Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing. Some of them were adopted by employees, while others wound up out on the street.
Fortunately, most of the fired cats did find homes. Here’s the story of one of them, Zhaocai. His picture is below, and I love the fact that you had to chip in for his care if you wanted to pet him (my emphasis below):
Zhaocai was a brash young tech cat. He applied for the job himself, walking into the office of Amilia Chen’s employer on a hot summer day, lean, hungry, and confident.
The Shanghai-based AI company, a noted player in intelligent picture generation, frequently left its door open, and one day in July last year a skinny orange cat walked in “with a swagger” to get out of the heat. Chen’s first impression of the cat was that he was “skinny but mettlesome.”
Almost half of Chen’s 30 colleagues owned cats, and they wanted to keep him. The company’s CEO wasn’t sure at first. “He was worried that during nights when everyone went back home, the cat might push over computers and bite the data cable, which is the pillar of an internet company,” Chen said. Cat lovers proposed that they could buy a big cage and put him inside it at night. The CEO still felt hesitant.
On a business trip with the CEO, Chen attempted to convince him: “Every colleague wants to keep it. We will feel upset if you don’t allow us to do it.” He relented. They gave him the name “Zhaocai,” or “pursuing wealth,” for luck.
Staff formed a cat collective. If an employee wanted to pet the cat, they needed to join the group and pay a 66 yuan ($9.86) monthly membership fee. It funded food and daily essentials, and a rainy day fund for pet hospitals and insurance.
For the right to decide on important issues for the cat — like what food to feed — members needed to do extra unpaid work: cleaning the litter box, washing the cat, or taking him to get vaccinated.
“After the cat settled in, our work and our mood improved,” Chen told Sixth Tone. When staff got tired of work, they would pet the cat or cuddle it to release stress. Some nights, Zhaocai snuck out of the office before people could put him into the cage, coming back the next morning. Once, Chen went to the office early, and found Zhaocai sitting in front of the closed glass door, meowing softly for someone to open the door.
The caption for the photo below: “Zhaocai arrived at the office skinny (left), and put on weight as a housecat (right). Courtesy of Amilia Chen.”
And another, captioned “Zhaocai at the office. Courtesy of Amilia Chen”:
h/t: GInger K., Damien