Caturday felid trifecta: Couple starts retirement home for senior cats; Thai cat breeds; cat sings opera; and lagniappe

July 29, 2023 • 10:00 am

From the American Association of Retired People (AARP) comes a heartwarming article on a couple who started a “rest home” that takes in only senior cats, giving them a lovely place to live out their “golden years”. Click below to read and see the two videos, which largely reproduce what’s in the AARP article:

Click to read:

An excerpt:

“Most of them have come from hardship situations, and we don’t adopt out. The cats live with us for the duration of their lives,” says Terry, 77. “Our mission is to rescue senior cats that need a home.”

The effort started in part because the pair were looking to adopt a kitten and Terry visited their veterinarian asking about a young cat. Someone there overheard her request and asked her to consider adopting an older cat there to be euthanized. “Of course, I took the cat,” Terry says.

“I found a real purpose in caring for these animals who, in many ways, were a reflection of where I was in life, too,” Terry says.

The backyard is a haven for the cats or a cat “Disneyland,” as Bruce, 77, calls it. The couple repurposed a “Frontierland” play area they had constructed for their children — complete with a hotel, a general store, a saloon and a sheriff’s office. They adapted it for the cats, and now it also includes feline play areas, napping spots, scratching posts and more.

“We had a vision where they could be free the way I think cats would like to be free outside, but protected,” Terry says.

“They feel secure here. The fact that they can go and sleep up on a bridge over a lake — I mean, how good is that?” Bruce says.

Cats come to Cats Cradle through veterinarians’ offices and private homes, particularly where someone might be ill and unable to take care of their pet. The couple have rescued more than 350 cats over the years and plan to continue their efforts.

“We discovered the special quality of older cats. They had qualities in their older years that young cats don’t have,” Terry says. “Maybe that’s true of people as well. You just have to discover it.”

A news story:


From Asean Now we learn about five unique cat breeds developed in Thailand. I didn’t know about any7of them. Click to read:

Here are a few:

Wichien Maat: The royal cat of Siam [JAC: this is related to but not identical to the “Siamese Cat”]

Sleek bodies, mesmerizing blue almond-shaped eyes, and an air of elegance that would make any cat lover weak at the knees. That’s Wichien Maat for you—the royal cat of Siam. Their cerulean eyes result from a genetic trait specific to the cat breed and are where it gets the name ‘Moon Diamond’ from.

There’s a lot worth learning about the Wichien Maat. These regal kitties are no ordinary house pets. They are highly intelligent and curious and enjoy interacting with their humans, thus earning the moniker “Meezers.”

I’m not a fan of the etiolated long-snouted monster that the Siamese has become, but these Wichien Maat cats are adorable.

Suphalak: Rare yet prized

Commonly known as Thong Daeng (Thai for “copper” or literally “red gold”), this Thai cat breed came to prominence during the Burmese-Siamese war in the 18th century. The sacking of Ayutthaya led to the transfer of many royal treasures to Burma (present-day Myanmar), including the Tamra Maew.

Upon discovering the awe-inspiring nature and energies of Suphalak cats as detailed in the Cat Treatise, the king of Burma commanded his subjects to capture all Suphalaks and bring them back to Burma. This apocryphal story has been used to explain the rarity of this breed and their close resemblance to the Burmese cat.

But Thailand’s love for the Suphalak isn’t just because it’s rare. These creatures are small and short-haired, flaunt golden yellow eyes, and have an evenly pigmented reddish-brown coat. Owing to these attributes, they are compared to the value of gold, implying that they bring prosperity to the pet owner.

Si-Sawat: Shimmering eleganc

Also known as the Korat cat, these silver-coated felines feature prominently pointed ears and bright green eyes. They can pick up the faintest sounds, spot the tiniest movements, and sniff out even the sneakiest treats.

Like many other cats on this list, the Si-Sawat is considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. This explains why it was never sold but only given as a gift, and it had to be in pairs! These cats were considered a symbol of a blissful and prosperous marriage, a guarantee for a happily ever after.

Even today, the Si-Sawat cats are an integral part of the Hae Nang Maew festival in Northeast Thailand. When the villagers are desperate for rain to quench their fields, they take to the streets with a cat in tow. It’s a lively parade, with the Si-Sawat as the star of the show

Khao Manee: Pure as snow

Literally translating to “white gem,” this Thai cat breed originates from a breeding initiative. Most Khao Manee cats have odd-colored eyes—with one shining like a golden treasure, and the other like a sapphire, which is considered a symbol of good fortune.

The pure white coat is another defining characteristic of the Khao Manee breed. It is soft, smooth, and lustrous, accentuating its elegant and regal demeanor. Moreover, some of these cats are born deaf, necessitating specialized care and attention.

Back in the 19th century, it was strongly believed that owning one of these cats would bring both longevity and prestige to a household. In fact, legend has it that when King Chulalongkorn the Great ruled the land, the penalty for stealing these cats was none other than the ultimate punishment: death itself.

Konja: The black panther

Yet another breed that appeared in the Tamra Maew, the Konja cat often draws comparisons to the legendary Thai lion, Singha. It’s no wonder why their elegant walk exudes a similar majestic aura.

In the treatise, their eyes, teeth, tongue, and claws were described as pitch black. Another distinguishing feature that made them truly stand out was a crisp white stripe running from under their chin all the way down their belly.

Today though, the Konja breed is typically entirely black. Perceptions of this black panther stand in stark contrast to the common belief of black cats being seen as ominous symbols. In ancient times, Thai people believed that feeding the cat would bestow upon them a great deal of good fortune. In fact, the Konja cat continues to be a common fixture in Thai temples to this day.



Here a cat sings classical music, cracking up its staff (from reddit; posted by Posted by u/EvaRaw666).  Sound up: It’s got talent!

girl trained her vocals..
by u/EvaRaw666 in Unexpected


Lagniappe: From ViralHog we see a cat playing with a mouse but not harming it. It’s not really a fist bump, and I worry about the last sentence in the description below. Well, make of it what you will. . .

“Joey brought this mouse in at 1 am through the cat flap. We saw a mouse running across our living room the next evening, so we decided to check out our cat camera and to our surprise found that Joey had brought this mouse in, and instead of killing it for prey, his playing with the mouse like they are friends! It almost looks like they are fist-bumping! The mouse’s whereabouts are currently unknown!”

h/t: Ginger K., Peter

7 thoughts on “Caturday felid trifecta: Couple starts retirement home for senior cats; Thai cat breeds; cat sings opera; and lagniappe

  1. I don’t know what it is about Thailand and cross breeding, but besides cats
    they do a lot of hybridizing of succulent plants like adeniums and euphorbias
    and you can find them for sale in the US everywhere.

  2. Years ago, I had a black cat who was an indoor/outdoor cat. He would often want in in the middle of the night. I’d get up, open the door, let him in, and go back to bed. The head of my bed was on the bath tub wall. Soon, I would hear squeaking and have to get up, turn on the light, put on my leather glove, catch the mouse the cat was playing with (unharmed, by the way), put the mouse outside, go back to bed, and try to get back to sleep. Cat never harmed them, he was too well fed, he was just lonely at 2 in the morning.

  3. The cat retirement home is a great idea. Understanding the responsibility and cost of having an animal today is not properly thought out by many people. One should not get into it without considering the entire business. Just as the people running this retirement for old cats tell us. You don’t get a day off.

  4. Kudos to the couple running the cat retirement home: $50,000 – $60,000 before they started looking for other funding? Wow!

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