Caturday felid: Pet cougars and panthers try to wake owners; Loyal Sea Cat Herman; cat goes nuts on ‘nip; and lagniappe

March 25, 2023 • 9:30 am

Messi, the pet cougar in the video below, has his own Wikipedia page with lots of information, which notes this:

Messi (Russian: Месси; born 30 October 2015) is a pet cougar, model and Internet celebrity, owned by Russian couple Alexandr and Mariya Dmitriev. The Dmitrievs live with Messi in a two-storey house on a large plot of land in Penza, Russia. Messi was adopted in 2016 from a local petting zoo. In 2017, the Dmitrievs started an Instagram account and a YouTube channel for Messi, which became very popular by 2018 and continues to grow in subscribers.

He was, as you might have suspected, named after soccer great Lionel Messi.  People have argued that he should be put in a reserve or zoo because he could cause trouble, but the Dmietrievs say that Messi has already passed sexual maturity (he’s 7 years old) and is still tame, and he also requires daily medication.  Read more about him on Wikipedia, his Instagram page, and his YouTube channel (60 videos!), but here’s a cute video of Messi waking up Alexandr. Listen to that purr!

Messi’s just like a housecat—loud and insistent at breakfast time! It’s hard to ignore a giant paw on your face, though.

And here’s another zoo-rescue panther (presumably a melanistic cougar), named Luna. You can read more about her here.  Some facts:

Luna is an adorable panther that was born in a zoo in Siberia. For some unknown reason, her mother completely rejected her and refused to give her much-needed milk and care. Luna’s chances for surviving were slim, but thankfully, an amazing woman came to the rescue. The woman had experience with raising big cats and decided to help Luna survive by taking care of her and feeding her a diet filled with vitamins that she desperately needed.

Soon, the woman grew attached to Luna and decided to buy her from the zoo—but only because she knew that she could give Luna the life she deserves and needs. Soon, Luna became part of the family. She met the woman’s dog named Venza. After a long process of introducing them and making sure they get along, a beautiful friendship bloomed. They are inseparable, always together: playing, running, and exploring the world around them. They are best friends and look absolutely adorable together!

Look at that scratching post at 1:17! Luna is very sweet, and it must cost a pretty ruble to keep these cats in food!

Would you like to be awakened in this way? No need for a shower!

Luna has her own YouTube page with 12 regular videos and 6 “shorts”.


This Facebook page is about official naval cats, of which there were many (I’ve featured some before).  The U.S. Naval Institute has a comprehensive page about “Cats in the Sea Services,” but today we feature Herman from the FB page:

We’ve heard endlessly about military dogs, but what about their smaller four-legged companions, cats? Surprisingly enough, cats played a significant role on Navy and Coast Guard ships at one point in time. Andy Mitchell’s Inside the Mind of a Cat Netflix documentary highlights this point about our feline Navy cats. Specifically, it tells us about the U.S. Coast Guard “Expert Mouser” Herman the cat.

Here’s a trailer for the movie, which you’ll have to pay to watch (I haven’t):

More from the FB page:

Herman the Cat, Expert Mouser
As per Mitchell’s Netflix original, this practice long superseded Herman’s reign. According to Dr. Eva Maria Geigl, Paleogeneticist featured in the documentary, “Ships are probably the predominant means of spreading of the cat.” She would state, “With humans, the rodents went on the ships and the cats followed. So, there was not a single ship, probably, that went out of the port without cats.”

As surprising as it sounds, yes. In fact, British Navy ships all sailed with a cat on board until the 1970s.

In 1943, Herman the cat would officially be commissioned by the military as an “Expert Mouser.” His primary duty was to control and extirpate the rodent population aboard the vessel.

Herman officially became a member of the U.S. Armed Forces at eight months old. Just like any other Coast Guardsman, Herman was issued an identification card for his hometown in Baltimore on January 12. His ID was as legit as anyone else’s, having a formal serial number of 05225058 authenticated by pertinent officials.

So, what exactly was Herman’s job as an Expert Mouser? Well, the Maryland feline had unrestricted access to the port waterfront no matter the time of day. His job? Hunt every mouse, rat, and rodent aboard the ship to his complete satisfaction. Herman wouldn’t be the first cat to play such a role on a boat.

Here’s a video of Herman (spelled “Hermen”) in action and getting his ID card made:

Herman’s ID—note the pawprint. Height: 15 inches; weight 11 pounds (he was a big one!):


Finally, a tabby going nuts with a jar of “Cat Crack®” catnip.


Lagniappe: A meme from Merilee; the many expressions of a moggy:

h/t: Williams, Merilee

Caturday felid trifecta: Cat fails; library cats; warning signs of catfights; and lagniappe

March 18, 2023 • 9:45 am

It’s that time again: time for CATS, which is the best time! Here is the most famous cat in Poland (for a while I used this cat as my Twitter photo):

From Linkiest, the ultimate clickbaity and time-wasting site, we do get a post of seven cat fails on YouTube. I’ll put up for, but go over to see the rest (click on screenshot):

First, a cat who barks like a dog.  The YouTube notes say this:

Salem is a black cat, who is barking like a dog, and when he get’s caught, starts to meow like a cat. Really eerie. This is an amazing phenomena, but it’s actually something a cat can do. According to veterinarians, cats do have the ability to bark like a dog. The cat’s larynx, trachea and diaphragm are similar to that of a dog. An over excited or emotionally effected cat, can produce the barking sound like a dog.

All I can say is that I’ve never heard such a thing:

This is the most miserable cat jump I’ve ever seen. That should be an easy leap, and the cat isn’t obese, either!

I found this one while perusing the site, though it’s not on the site. Scaredy cats!

It’s crazy hour in the litter box. The YouTube notes say this, “This is my psycho cat Blair. He seems to think his litter box is a sand box.”


Reader Stephanie sent this 29-minute video, “Puss in Books,” about library cats. Every library, of course, should have a cat, as should all bookstores. Stephanie notes that the quality of the video isn’t great, but it’s still charming. There’s even a “Library Cat Society”!

She added this: “ the person who made the video has a clickable map of libraries that have their own cats.

There appears to be only one library cat in Chicago, but it’s a statue.  (the other dots refer to deceased cats). You can click on each dot to find the library and, perhaps, something about a cat:

Zooming out, you find that most library cats are found in Anglophone countries:


The Guardian has a piece summarizing a scientific article in Nature Scientific Reports analyzing which signs a cat would give if it were about to attack or fight. Click below to read.

The upshot:


Dr Noema Gajdoš‑Kmecová, first author of the research from the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy, in Košice, Slovakia – a cat owner herself – said understanding feline interactions could be difficult.

“Many owners are asking themselves the question, are these cats playing, fighting? Or what’s going on actually? We found out that there was actually very little scientific evidence to guide us in answering this question so we decided to go for it and study inter-cat interactions,” she said.

Writing in the journal Scientific Reports, Gajdoš‑Kmecová, and colleagues, describe how they examined the behaviour of 105 pairs of interacting domestic cats recorded on videos collected from YouTube. They also advertised for cat owners.

The scientists classified behaviors as playful, agonistic, or intermediate, but the results won’t surprise cat owners:

“When cats are young and when they are wrestling and not vocalising they are most likely playing,” the team write. But when there are extended inactive pauses, vocalisations and chasing, the cats may be

Intermediate behaviour, the authors write, was associated with prolonged interactivity and included features associated with both playful interactions, such as lying belly up or pouncing, as well as aggressive behaviours, such as arching the back, and retreating.

However, Gajdoš‑Kmecová said even wrestling could occur in a positive and a negative context, so it was important to look at the overall pattern of behaviours and whether they were shown by both cats. For example, if claws and yowling were involved, a wrestle was unlikely to be a sign of play; and play was also unlikely if only one cat was attempting to engage in wrestling.

They forgot hissing!  And I don’t find this conclusion very helpful:

Gajdoš‑Kmecová added that the study showed feline interactions were not always a binary choice between playing and fighting, but that their behaviours could give helpful clues. “Maybe ask yourself are they playing, fighting, or is it something in between,” she said.

And they sell their results this way, also noting that friendly encounters can turn nasty and cats who usually play together can still have agonstic interactions. That won’t surprise anyone who owns more than one cat:

Therefore, our findings (by focusing on general overt behaviours, rather than subtleties which might require some skill to detect in real time) provide valuable practical evidence which can be used to help owners detect signs of intercat tension in its early stages. Earlier detection and presentation to a clinical behaviour professional can be expected to be more likely to result in successful management of the relationship and prevent major issues which might lead to the relinquishment and/or euthanasia of one or both cats.


LagniappeFrom KVIA7, in El Paso, Texas, a kitten stuck on a telephone pole for FIVE DAYS was rescued by civilians, but ran away afterwards.  It’s not clear whether someone actually adopted it, though.

Here’s a short news video and an update below, still not telling us of what became of this poor marooned moggy:

Update: West El Paso residents were able to successfully bring down the feline down that had been stranded atop a utility pole for 5 days.

Viewer Verona Ogden provided ABC-7 with video showing concerned residents pushing a basket up the pole and the cat jumping in.

The cat was safely brought down to the ground.

El Paso Electric tells ABC-7 their crews deemed any rescue attempt to dangerous and shutting power for the area was not viable.

Animal Services and El Paso Electric crews were at 5200 block of Carousel in West El Paso Saturday morning looking at ways to safely rescue a cat stuck on an electric pole.

h/t: Stephanie, Matthew, Bill


Caturday felid quadrafecta: A visit to Gacek; cockatoo imitates cats; formal portraits of big cats; therapy cat has a book

March 11, 2023 • 9:00 am

We have our first quadrafecta today thanks to a last-minute contribution from a reader.

A week ago I featured the renowned Polish cat Gacek, who lives in a box on the street in Szczecin, near the Baltic Sea. (See this Reuter’s piece about Gacek, which refers to him as “the Kim Kardashian” of the cat world,” presumably because of his combination of fame and pulchritude.) I had no idea that one of our readers would make a pilgrimage to visit Gacek, so behold the text and photo contribution of reader Radosław:

I’d like to share with you two pics I’ve taken inspired by your recent Caturday Trifecta. If not for you, I wouldn’t know about this splendid tourist attraction located less than 200 km from Berlin, where I live.
I’m honored to present kot Gacek who is ignoring a good read. I had no conscience to lure him out of his abode with snacks, as the weather was too bad for that. Although the street looks rather deserted in the photo, there were approx 5 ailurophiles taking selfies with Gacek during my 3-min visit.

Note my book with Gacek! First, Gacek’s house (the box in the foreground):

Fame! Kudos to Radosław for driving a 400 km round trip to see this famous cat.


This cockatoo sounds remarkably like a cat; it even hisses!


From BabaMail we have a series of captivating big cat pictures. Click screenshot to read:

From the article:

Not many of us are fortunate enough to observe wild animals up close. It has often been said that watching a wild animal at close quarters and noting the different facets of its behavior can be an experience to savor. Thankfully, British fashion photographer Ralph Perou has given us the next best thing.

The noted photographer set up his studio in an enclosure at the Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent and shot 7 of the prominent big cats there as if they were celebrities. According to Ralph, he wanted to raise awareness about the vulnerability of the big cats in the wild through this project. He photographed the animals for over a year in an enclosure where he had set up a makeshift studio. His effort was to capture the myriad moods and emotions of the big cats from a close range.

Ralph felt that the big cats had no pretense while being photographed, unlike actors, celebrities and models; they would let the photographer know exactly what they felt about him. Here are some shots from Ralph Perou’s extensive big cat portraits.

Maya the black jaguar (melanic morph, differently abled):

Narnia the white tiger:

Nias, the Sumatran tiger:

Keene the cheetah:

There are lots of pics. Go see the lion!


From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette we have the inspiring story (now in book form) of Scooter the therapy cat. Click on screenshot to read:

From the article:

Betsy Kay Kennon has loved dozens of pets. As a veterinarian, she had thousands of patients – four-legged, two-legged and no-legged (snakes).

A black-and-white tuxedo cat was first her patient and then her pet. She named him Scooter and loved him like no other animal. He was special – and different – in many ways.

Dr. Kennon saved his life after his back was broken when he was a kitten. Scooter, in return, changed her life.

“Scooter: Therapy Cat” is the book she wrote as a homage to the 10-pound paraplegic feline who made unique therapy visits to nursing homes and rehabilitation centers.

“His front legs trotting briskly in front of two fast-spinning rear wheels, Scooter was quite a sight in the halls of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Harmarville and other places he visited,” the book describes, quoting from a 2021 Pet Tales column I wrote.

Scooter was a special inspiration on that visit for people who had lost the use of their legs.

“I’m in a wheelchair. He’s in a wheelchair. If he can do it, I can do it,” a patient told Dr. Kennon.

. . . Since retiring from full-time practice in 2016, Dr. Kennon has been volunteering her services at Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, which is receiving all proceeds from sales of “Scooter: Therapy Cat” (Word Association Publishers, $16.95). Proceeds will be used to help pay medical costs for canine and feline residents of the New Kensington shelter. Riverside Books plans to have copies of the book at its stores in McCandless and Squirrel Hill.

Sadly, the only photo of Scooter is above, but the article gives all the details about how he was saved and now inspires others. A bit more after the vet recounts how she decided not to put the cat to sleep:

“At lunchtime every day we would lift him out and put him on the floor. Off he would go, using his front legs to pull his back half along. … He would scoot from room to room and down the halls. That’s how he got his name.”

Scooter was allowed to hang out in the reception room, where he would scoot up to visit clients, “and everyone loved him. This cat, I decided, would make a good therapy pet,” Dr. Kennon writes.

A collection jar was installed on the clinic’s counter. In less than two weeks, clients donated more than the $300 needed to buy Scooter a wheeled cart from K9 Karts.

Scooter lived a long while—from 2008 to 2021—and died of a stroke. His obituary is also in the Pittsburgh paper.

And here’s a video of Scooter with Dr. Kennon:


h/t: Ginger K

Caturday felid trifecta: Polish cat Gacek becomes a top tourist attraction; the “golden girl” ginger kittens; saved Turkish cat adopted by rescuer; and lagniappe

March 4, 2023 • 9:30 am

I will strike to maintain this feature while I’m in Poland, as I don’t recall missing one. I do my best. And, coincidentally, our first item is a POLISH CAT: a tubby tuxedo cat name Gacek who has become a huge tourist attraction in Szczecin, near the Baltic Sea.  (“Gacek” is not a Polish human name but the word for “bat”.)

Click the screenshot read this piece about Gacek from Notes from Poland:

A large black-and-white cat named Gacek has become the top-rated tourist attraction in the Polish city of Szczecin, with over 1,000 Google reviews giving the animal a near-perfect average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Gacek (whose name means long-eared bat in Polish) is a free-roaming feline who has for years been living in a box on Szczecin’s Kaszubska street.

In 2020, local news outlet wSzczecinie noted that the “King of Kaszubska Street” had begun drawing admirers – including visitors from neighbouring Germany – after it published a video about him that now has 4.5 million views on Facebook and YouTube.

Here’s a lovely video about him with English subtitles; you can see how well loved he is (he’s grown fat on offerings of noms!):

Gacek’s fame has continued to grow since then, with many reviewers on Google noting that they had travelled from around Poland and even abroad to see him.

“It was worth travelling three hours to feel ignored by him. Recommended,” wrote one visitor.

“I flew from Oslo with transit in Gdańsk to see Gacek. As expected, he didn’t pay any attention to me which made the experience fully wholesome,” added another five-star review.

Not all visitors were satisfied, however. “I prefer dogs,” reads a one-star review. “He stole a sausage,” says another.

He’s so famous that he’s even located on a map of the city (“kot” means “cat”), along with the Google reviews (5 stars out of five!)

Some comments also express concern that Gacek appears to be overweight – perhaps as a result of treats provided by those visiting him. The city’s animal shelter has appealed for people not to feed him, notes news website

A sign alongside his home asks that if anyone wishes to give Gacek snacks, they should leave them in a closed packet which will then be opened by his owner.

“I happily pose for pictures, but please don’t stroke me while I’m having a nap,” it adds.


Cole and Marmalade give us a bit of story and some pictures of the “Golden Girls Kittens”: four ginger kittens born to a ginger mom. Click on the screenshot to read:

The story:

When kittyfoster mom Lori White, who lives in Indianapolis, took in a female ginger cat and her four kittens, who were also all ginger-colored she already knew the perfect names for all of them. Mama kitty earned the name Goldie, while her kittens became known as “The Golden Girls” — after the popular ’80s sitcom that introduced the world to Sophia, Dorothy, Rose, and Blanche.

The Mom Goldie (Images via Instagram/ dreaming_of_foster_kittens), all images courtesy of Lori White:

. . . and her brood. Aren’t they adorable?

Initially, she wanted to use names related to sunshine but when she found out all of them were girls, Lori knew the Golden Girls’ names were just the perfect fit.

The little family was found in the basement of an empty house, and there was no food or water. Fortunately, all are now safe. But the unusual thing about this little troop of gingers is that all of the kittens are female, which is, in fact, kind of a rare thing.

“I’ve heard that only 20 percent of ginger cats are female, so to have an entire litter of females is very unusual!” Lori says.

Research bears this out: About 80 percent of orange tabby kitties are male, notes Cat Town.

But even though each baby is ginger, all of them have different and unique personalities. The more challenging part, however, was telling them apart, so Lori devised a simple system.

“When I first got them, I had to use a dot of nail polish on the tip of Dorothy’s and Sophia’s ears to tell them apart. Sophia had a dot on her right ear, Dorothy on the left. Blanche didn’t have a dot. Rose is darker orange like her mom, so she was easier to identify,” she said. “As they got older, I was able to tell them apart based on their striping and spots on their sides.”

. . . Dorothy is the largest of the kittens, which seems fitting since TV Golden Girl Dorothy (Bea Arthur) was the tallest of the girls. Like her outspoken counterpart, she was also the most adventurous, being the first of the kittens to leave the foster room to check out the other rooms in the house. Sophia was also a tiny explorer.

These adorable babies were definitely lucky — not just because foster mom Lori loves her kittens, but also because Goldie is an awesome mama.

“When the girls were younger, she was obsessed with keeping them clean! No one could escape her after eating! She would pin them down to make sure they all had their baths!” Lori says.

And they’ve all found Forever Homes:

And the good news is, that Dorothy, the biggest kitten, has already been spayed and has a new home, while Sophia and Rose have found a home together. Mama Goldie also has a new home, thanks to a retired veterinarian and her husband. Little Blanche is going to her new family in a few days.


Here’s a heartwarming story from My Modern Met. Click on the screenshot to read:

Some of the tail:

t has been nearly 11 days since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks struck the Turkey-Syria border, and rescues are still underway. As teams try to excavate through the devastation of fallen buildings, they are uncovering surviving people as well as animals. Turkish firefighter Ali Cakas saved a scared cat from the rubble, and the traumatized kitty has been glued to his side ever since.

video shows the man, still in uniform and protective gear, posing with the feline perched on his shoulder. The black-spotted cat clearly has an appreciation for his hero, as he does not move from the firefighter’s side even for a moment. “We named it Enkaz (rubble), because we brought it out of hell,” the firefighter says. “It might sound a little off-putting, but we wanted it to be a memory this way.”

Here’s the video from Twitter:

As heartwarming as this rescue has been, people online have also found a way to sympathize with the cat while simultaneously lusting after Cakas. “Uh…not for nothing but I would also not leave this guy’s side,” said Twitter user Paula Matiz. Another person admitted, “I don’t know who is cuter…the man or the kitty.” Despite the comedic thirsting over the firefighter’s good looks, though, the common consensus is that Cakas has done something truly wonderful, saving the life of a sweet cat.

So far, no one has come forward to claim Enkaz, but the firefighter is keeping him safe in the meantime, providing food and shelter. “I see a sadness in this cat,” the firefighter said after rescuing him. “I keep it by my side in case the owner comes, but if the owner doesn’t come out, I’m thinking of taking him with me. It will be a memory.” Fortunately, Enkaz has found a safe haven after everything he has been through, so we hope this is the start of a beautiful relationship between the cat and his rescuer.

Both Enkaz and his handsome owner have been the subject of online buzz

Tweets from smitten ladies:

If you want to keep up to date on their adventures, you can follow Cakas on Instagram. The firefighter has also created an Instagram account for Enkaz the cat.

And this just in: the happy news from Laughing Squid:

Yes, man and cat are one now, and the women will be after the pair! Here’s a video and two Instagrams:


Lagniappe: “Dude,” a museum cat who inhabits the Delaware Museum of Nature & Science in Wilmington, Delaware. As you can see, he’s well taken care of.

h/t: Tom, Amy

Caturday felid trifecta: Chemistry with cats; cat puts itself to sleep in miniature bed; Mr. Kitters, cat photographer

February 25, 2023 • 9:30 am

My colleagues (and now coauthors) Anna Krylov, a quantum chemist, and her partner Jay Tanzman, a freelance statistician, have collaborated on a cat-imbued article at the Heterodox STEM site. The intro says that the piece was inspired by the ailurophilia of this site, so I am proud.

Anna and Jay discuss the several ways they have brought cats into published discussions of chemistry, especially in the illustrations. There is of course Schrödinger’s cat, but I’ll give a few other examples from their paper below (click screenshot to read):

From the intro: a recursion!

I [Anna] love chemistry and cats. They seem to inhabit the same part of my brain—I like to think about cats when I do chemistry, and I like to think about chemistry when I cuddle with my cats. Sometimes cats dominate over chemistry—for example, when I choose to read Jerry Coyne’s weekly Caturday Felid Trifecta [1] instead of doing chemistry. But, overall, my cats make my chemistry better, and that is the main point of this essay. The idea for it came from two of Jerry’s blog [ahem!] posts: Cats Who Owned Famous Scientists and Ten Cats in Literature [2]. So I thought, how about Chemistry with Cats? Indeed, what is the best way to explain complicated and abstract concepts? Of course by using cats! In what follows, we will present a few examples from Anna’s research, in which she used cats to illustrate key concepts. We will conclude with a few words about the real cats in our life and remarks on an important issue of naming a cat.

But, first, we need to acknowledge that we stand on the shoulders of giants, and that cats have been used by scientists to explain important concepts on many occasions. It could, in fact, become a subject of a review article. But today we will mention just one example, the most well-known cat in the history of science communication: Schrödinger’s cat.

All captions are taken from the HxSTEM post:

Cats and the Many-body problem:

The many-body problem refers to a system of multiple (more than two) interacting particles, for example, a molecule with more than two electrons. Solving the Schrödinger equation for such a collection of interacting nuclei and electrons is hard, and the entire field of quantum chemistry is dedicated to it. Above, is the cover image for a feature article [13] illustrating the complexity of the many-body problem, the challenges in solving it numerically for realistic systems, various means to tackle it, and the potential of machine learning (ML) and artificial (AI) intelligence to help solve these challenges.

Although the cat on the cover is just a free-loader, cats did some serious work in the paper [13]. Below, is a figure from the paper explaining the concept of coarse-graining complexity. The original figure caption reads: “Detailed information about a many-body system, such as a complete description of a cat, with all its hairs and whiskers, can be compressed into a compact form describing a subset of physical properties of the system—an effective cat theory that describes important cat behaviors and informs us when to feed the cat, when to take it to the vet, or how to play with it. This mapping can be done either exactly or approximately. The coarse-grained, effective representation of a cat can be used as a starting point for including more fine-grained descriptions of the system (with more nuanced cat behaviors) or for building up the complexity, all the way up to a multiple cat theory and one for dynamically interacting cats.”

The cover (can you spot the cat?)

A figure from the paper:

Cats and chirality

This cover illustrates the concept of chirality in chemistry, highlighting new theoretical tools developed by Anna’s lab and her collaborators (Sonia Coriani’s group in Denmark) to probe it [16].

Cover caption: “Circular dichroism spectroscopy is a powerful technique for probing molecular chirality, but to establish absolute configuration of chiral molecules, as those shown on the image, the experiment needs to be augmented by robust theoretical modeling. We present theoretical developments for modeling chiral optical properties across different frequency regimes using equation-of-motion coupled-cluster framework.” Reproduced with permission from Andersen et al, Probing molecular chirality of ground and electronically excited states in the UV–vis and X-ray regimes: An EOM-CCSD study, J. Chem. Theo. Comp. 18 1748 (2022). Copyright 2022 American Chemical Society.

Cats and quantum information science:

Below, is a cover for a special issue on quantum computing and quantum information science published by the journal Physical Chemistry–Chemical Physics, for which I [Anna] am an editor. It is an accompaniment to the editorial that introduces the topic and summarizes the contributions to the issue: Krylov, Doyle, and Ni, Quantum computing and quantum information storage: An introduction

Reproduced from Krylov et al, Quantum computing and quantum information storage: An introduction, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 23 6341 (2021) [15] with permission from the PCCP Owner Societies.
They add this:

There is even a popular Russian science magazine called Schrödinger’s Cat (Кот Шрёдингера). Here is the cover of its first issue:

The cover of the first issue of the Schrödinger’s Cat (Кот Шрёдингера) magazine. It says: Schrödinger’s cat is alive! Image credit: Wikimedia Commons: Author Danilla Shorokh.

And Anna and Jay’s two cats (there are many photos and tales of their former cats):

Geddi in his sexy-pose. “Geddi” is short for the German word abgedeckt. We gave him that name when we first started learning German because we thought that abgedeckt meant “masked,” which aptly describes the coloring of Geddi’s face. As we continued our German lessons, however, we learned that that was completely wrong. Oh, well.

Here’s Mishka, a purebred British shorthair.

And this is Mishka looking like a distinguished professor awaiting the call from Stockholm. “Mishka” is a diminutive form of the Russian name Mikhail. It is also a diminutive of the Russian word medved (медведь), meaning “bear.”


Here’s a cat that puts herself into a tiny, custom-made cat bed. She even has her own teddy-equivalent: a toy Rudolph the red-nosed Reindeer:

When the humans go to bed Sophie follows and goes right up to her bed to get tucked in. IG @sophielovestuna


Mr. Kitters carries a camera around his neck, and so you get cat podcasts like this one (his Instagram site, with more videos, is here).  The one below is especially good: he goes under a porch, encounters another cat, and tries to climb a tree. Notice his whiskers in the frame!

Sound up to hear the meows.

Here he chases another cat:

. . . and here’s a video of Mr. Kitters with his camera:

h/t: Anna, Barry

Caturday felid trifecta: Man thought he was rescuing one kitten, but got a baker’s dozen; video game “Stray” helps rescue real cats; cats invade satellite dishes; and lagniappe

February 18, 2023 • 9:30 am

This story (click on screenshot below) comes from NPR, and the video of the rescue went viral (also see below). I believe I posted it at the time.

From the story:

As Robert Brantley was driving down the backroads of northeast Louisiana on Tuesday, something caught his eye. The professional shooter was going about 40 miles an hour as he headed toward the shooting range, but he thought he had seen a kitten on the side of the road.

He wasn’t sure though, so he turned his car around and went back to find out. In a video that he posted to Instagram, Brantley walks toward a single white and gray tabby kitten.

“Look — kitty, kitty,” Brantley calls toward the kitten.

Brantley picks the kitten up just as three more white kittens pop up in the grass. But it didn’t end there. In total, 12 kittens came out of the grass after the first one and ambushed the man who said he thought it was just a lone kitten.

“Oh, no, there’s a whole — oh, my gosh! I can’t take y’all. Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh, there’s more! We got a kitten problem,” Brantley exclaims in his initial video. “Who would do this? I thought I was saving one. Hot diggity dog.”

Needless to say, Brantley had his hands full and did not make it to the range that day.

“I was not prepared for the kittens,” he told NPR. “I was just blown away.”

The 37-year-old said it was a wave of emotions as he realized someone had likely dumped the kittens on the side of the road at an age when they couldn’t fend for themselves.

Brantley put the baker’s dozen into his Honda hatchback, and the rest is history (see below):

Here’s the original Instagram post that went viral:

What happened? The nice man fostered them and found forever homes:

Brantley then headed home with his baker’s dozen of kittens. The initial video gained a lot of traction on social media, and Brantley said thousands of offers for adoption started pouring in from all around the U.S. and elsewhere in the world.

At this time, most of the litter is spoken for, with the exception of a couple of kittens that need a little extra attention, and a veterinarian is scheduled to stop by Thursday night to help out.

“We found some good people locally that want ’em, and I know that they’re all good people and they’re not doing anything bad with them,” he said. “We haven’t gave any of them away yet — they’re probably a little too young.”

Brantley has continued to share the kittens’ journey on his Instagram page, including playtime in the yard and the beginning of bath time, featuring one kitten Brantley has named Scout.

Here’s an update I found on Facebook: the kittens being photographed

And a photo of Brantley and one of the pack:


I’ve posted about the new cat video game “Stray” twice before (here and here), and it seems that it was a big hit among gamers.  Now it seems that the game is actually helping real stray cats. See the four-minute news report below:

If anybody has played this game, let us know in the comments, and tell us what you think. If I played video games, it would be this one, for it looks very realistic. And I’m sure Grania would be playing this if she were still around.


This article from the Smithsonian shows something absolutely predictable (click to read).

What is Starlink? From the article:

Starlink is a satellite internet service created by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. It currently has more than 1,600 satellites orbiting in space, with permission from U.S. authorities to eventually launch up to 12,000, reports the Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt.

But it also has this feature:

Starlink satellite dishes have a self-heating feature to melt snow, which may be why cats are drawn to it, reports the Guardian. Engineers created this feature to stop snow from interfering with the signal, but can the dish handle a pile of felines?

. . .As cold weather and storms plague parts of the United States this winter, cat owners can count on their fluffy companions to curl up in the warmest spots they can reach.

That’s what Aaron Taylor certainly seems to have discovered. On December 31, Taylor posted a photo on Twitter of five cats curled up on his self-heating satellite dish. The post quickly went viral, gaining more than 190,000 likes and 26,000 retweets so far.

Here’s the picture:

. . . . On Twitter, Taylor says five cats snuggling on his dish interrupts his video streaming and “slows everything down.”

. . .  .For those concerned about cats outside in cold weather, Taylor clarifies they do have access to heated cat house. But even when temperatures reached minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit, the kitties still used the satellite dish as a $500 cat bed. “When the sun goes down, they head back to their house,” he adds on Twitter.

He suspects these daytime luxury naps occur because sunlight heats the dish from the top, while the internal dish heater warms it from the bottom, he writes in another comment.

Other Twitter users quickly replied to Taylor’s post, including Nico Thirion, who posted a photo of a bird hanging out on a satellite dish. “Different species, same problem,” he wrote.

Here you go. Beware if you live in a cold area and have a Starlink dish:


Lagniappe: kitteh enjoys a spa day. Actually, it’s not a pleasurable spa day: no cucumber eyeshades or massages. Just bathing, toothbrushing (you can buy chicken-flavored toothpaste for cats) and nail clipping.

h/t: Barry, Nicole, Margaret

Caturday felid trifecta: Female painters and their cats; stray cat invited inside during the cold to warm up (you know what happens next); and OwlKitty in movies

February 11, 2023 • 9:45 am

If you click below, you’ll go to a Guardian article about female artists who painted or photographed their own beloved moggies, or about females depicted with cats:

A couple of examples:

When Tracey Emin’s cat Docket went missing in 2002, the “Lost Cat” posters she pasted around her east London neighbourhood were pilfered and valued at £500. Her gallery, White Cube, argued that they didn’t count as works, though some art historians said otherwise. Whomever you believe, they still occasionally turn up on eBay.

It is Emin’s self-portrait with Docket that I love the most, however. (That and her handmade cat photo book, Because I Love Him, a dream art purchase should I ever make it rich.) In the photograph, Docket faces the camera with that deadpan, slightly morose expression that is particular to cats, his impressive whiskers shooting out beyond the artist’s fingers, which frame his face as she nuzzles him from above. It’s a strikingly maternal image, and indeed Emin has in the past referred to the cat, who has sadly now left this earthly plane, as her “baby”. It comes in a long line of artistic depictions of women or girls with cats.

Here’s the picture as advertised on the Christie’s auction webpage:

It’s no surprise that cats appear so frequently in paintings: artists tend to love them, maybe because they are so defiant and independent. Plus, it is easier to paint while caring for a cat than a dog: they do not require walking, though they can still get in the way, as a gorgeous photograph of the painter Lois Mailou Jones standing at an easel with a kitten on her shoulder shows. Leonor Fini, meanwhile, kept two dozen cats, so it’s no surprise that their fur sometimes ended up melded with the paint on her canvases.

Here’s that picture of Jones with her kitten in a tweet:

There are some fabulous photographs of Leonor Fini with her pets. In a 1961 portrait by Martine Franck, her wild dark hair is an eccentric counterpoint to the white cat’s refined appearance, while in another image she is shown wearing an evening gown as she kneels to feed six cats in her kitchen. Dora Maar’s image is perhaps the most deliberately erotic. Fini wears a sort of low-cut corset, and a long-haired black cat is held between her open legs in a visual pun that is not lost on the viewer.

Leonor Fini in Dora Maar’s image:

That male artists should use cats as a means of eroticising the objectified female nude will come as a surprise to no one. In Félix Vallotton’s La Paresse, a naked woman is sprawled on a bed, her hand extended to stroke the cat. In a Masaya Nakamura photograph, we see only the curve of her backside and her pointed feet as a black cat gazes in the direction of her genitals. I’d far rather Pierre Bonnard’s more humane depiction of an irritated-looking woman, sitting fully dressed at the table with a plate of food while the “demanding cat” of its title harasses her. Or even better, Lotte Laserstein’s 1928 Self-Portrait with a Cat, wherein her head-on gaze appears to challenge the viewer as the disgruntled-looking animal she holds in her lap seems ready to pounce if necessary. It’s as though they are both daring you to say something: call Laserstein a crazy cat lady at your peril.

Here’s Laserstein’s painting from the Leicester Museum’s German Expressionist Collection:

To end:

Centuries after the witch-hunts, the love that women – particularly childless women – have for cats is mocked and stigmatised to this day. That is why I take such delight in the photographs of Brooke Hummer, who asked various cat women to pose in the style of historical paintings, their styles ranging from 19th-century colonial to surrealist. These funny, celebratory images subvert the shaming stereotype of the cat lady. My favourite is a pastiche of a medieval painting of the Madonna and child, but instead of a baby, the Virgin Mary holds a tabby cat. Laugh if you like, she appears to be saying, but cat love is real love.

Here is that painting, I think, taken from Hummer’s website (she’s a Chicago native):


From PetHelpful we have a lovely story of a stray cat who, during a cold winter, was invited inside and never left. Click to read:


When kindhearted @lindaeckel opened her doors to a stray cat who was living near her home during freezing temperatures, she didn’t expect to have a new furever friend. Still, that’s exactly what happened! The beautiful long-haired tabby cat made herself right at home with Linda and her pets, and the result is just precious.

The first video featuring the ex-stray went viral on TikTok for adorably obvious reasons, and we think you’ll love it, too. Miss Kitty and her new friends are inseparable!


We brought in the stray that’s been hanging around since it is -35 right now. Major loves this cat! #bestfriends #makethisgoviral #makethisgoviralplease #bestfriends #goodkitty #goodpuppy #makemygoldenviral #golden #dogsoftiktok #goldensoftiktok #goldenretrieverlife #goldenslivingtheirbestlife #goldensrule #goldenlife #goldendreams #goldenretriever #lovecatsanddogs

♬ State Lines – Novo Amor

Making biscuits is a contract!:

“That cat made biscuits for your dog. That is a contract,” wrote commenter @marcescence. Exactly! We’d like to think that was the moment the cat knew she’d found her forever home–but her new mama still made it official recently.

“Thank you all,” Linda said. “Bella has a new home. Merry Christmas all!” Now that is the perfect holiday gift for everyone. The kitty gets a new home, and the family gets someone new to love–especially this adoring Golden Retriever!

Here’s the Golden Retriever, Major, with Bella. See more cats and d*gs on Linda Eckel’s TikTok page:


And the love continues…… Webster, Major and the kitty Bella #sweetestcatever #thesweetestever #straycatstory #catsanddogsoftiktok #goodkittykat #sweetkitty #ourcatstory #catsoftiktok #verybestfriends #goldensoftiktok🦮 #makeitgoviral #goldenretrieverpuppy #goldenpuppy #goldenretriever #goldenlove #goldensrule #golden #goldenretrieverlife #goldensoftiktok #thisisbeautiful❤❤

♬ snowfall – Øneheart & Reidenshi


OwlKitty is a YouTube movie star. As her site notes:

Lizzy (stage name: OwlKitty) is a 5 year-old floof living in Portland, Oregon. She stars in all your favorite movies and tv shows and gets lots of treats and cuddles in return. Offscreen, Lizzy loves her laser pointer, her adoptive mother (a 12 year-old tabby) and the taste of cream cheese. She’s never caught a bird.

So far, OwlKitty has made appearances in such classics as Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, How to Train your Dragon, The Shining, Titanic, 50 Shades of Gray and Risky Business. You can also find her in Game of Thrones, Ariana Grande’s music video and Red Dead Redemption 2.

There are lots of good videos on the OwlKitty YouTube site, all done with clever technology and tedious work. Here’s the famous OwlKitty “Titanic” trailer:

. . . and how it was made. The work is amazingly thorough:

Owlkitty in Jurassic Park (with tuna!):

There are many more movies, so knock yourself out!

h/t: Meijlink, Gregory

Caturday felids : Once again, Bristol’s cat pub; desirable cat tee-shirts; what people named their cats in the Middle Ages; and lagniappe

February 4, 2023 • 10:15 am

I’ve written before about the Bag of Nails pub in Bristol (see here and here), which became famous because it featured more than a dozen moggies roaming about. The customers loved it (who wouldn’t?), and I even induced a reader to visit and send me a photo of himself enjoying a pint among the cats (see second link above). It closed for a while during the pandemic, and I was worried, but it’s now open again and doing better than ever.

This new article from BristolLIVE (click on screenshot) shows that the Bag of Nails has become even more famous, with people from around the world droppping in. I tell you, putting cats in a shop or business (if they’re allowed) is the best way to make it grow.

Quotes are indented:

When landlord Luke Daniels took over the Bag of Nails pub in Hotwells in 2012, he never thought it would become home to 14 felines, let alone a destination for cat tourists to visit in their droves. Bag of Nails on St George’s Road started out as a traditional real ale boozer, and after Luke took in one of his friend’s cats, Malcom, the feline residents grew over the years with as many as 24 at one time after the arrival of several litters.

What started as Bristol’s best-kept secret exploded with a flurry of national media attention that stemmed from an article in the Bristol Evening Post in 2015. “From that moment onwards my life went completely mental for six months straight,” Luke remembered. His phone was ringing non-stop with national papers all hoping to get the story.

Bag of Nails went global having been picked up by dozens of websites in Russia, Thailand and Japan, with two Japanese film crews visiting in 2016. “For about six months, the pub was rammed. The furthest distance someone travelled just to come to our pub was Tokyo. Imagine someone flying all that way just to see the Bag of Nails? It’s just a bit mad.”

Photo: Dan Regan/BristolLive

The clientele is mixed, Luke said. “With our customers, it’s about half cat tourists, half people who like good beer and good music.” ‘Cat tourism’ is one of the latest travel phenomena to grip the world.

There are hundreds of cat cafes, hotels and attractions that charge entry – Bristol once had You&Meow, a cafe inspired by Japanese zen gardens – but the Bag of Nails is different. In reality, it’s just a traditional boozer where cats happen to live.

Luke moved in above the pub at the start of the pandemic to take care of the cats while it was closed. “The lockdown was obviously quite difficult but it was difficult for all of the pubs, but very quickly we started doing takeaway beer. As soon as the Government said breweries with taprooms are allowed to do takeaway beer I thought ‘we have the same licence, we must be able to do it as well’.”

Photo: James Beck/Freelance

The pub lies on the boundary of the Clean Air Zone, and Luke believes a loading bay near the pub is just outside of the CAZ. Fortunately, Bag of Nails has found a local brewery that can sell quality beers for a sensible price, meaning that pints of ale stays low.

Luke added: “We’re going to always try and have Cheddar Ales for £3.50 a pint so that there’s always an affordable option for people. I think that’s quite important at the minute, some people have got money and some people just don’t anymore.”

But do they have Tim Taylor’s Landlord. If they did, I’d just move in and never leave.  Here’s the publican, Luke Daniels:

Photo: James Beck/Freelance

Along with its strong range of real ales and its resident cats, the pub is also known for its very specific set of rules – some of which are not printable – including ‘No Scientology’ and ‘Babies and toddlers must be stored in the cellar’. Most of the rules have stayed the same apart from one rule – ‘No mobile phones’.

“People keep on breaking this rule. During the World Cup, some people came in and started watching a match at top volume on their phone. I had to ask them to turn it down because there were other people in the pub who don’t want to watch it.”

It’s known for being a sport-free pub that prioritises good music. Luke recently acquired a gramophone meaning they can play original 78s and LPs. It’s also popular for its extensive board game selection and has recently started a Monday poker night.

Bag of Nails is certainly unique due to its furry residents who live rent-free, but besides being a cat pub, prioritises quality, local breweries above all. It’s garnered a following beyond cat tourism which means it’s cemented itself as a pub to stay within the Hotwells area.

If you want to go there, and you should if you’re not that far, it’s at 141 St George’s Rd, Hotwells, Bristol (BS1 5UW). Here’s a photo from WhatPub, and the pub’s Facebook page is here.


From I Heart Cats comes a collection of great teeshirts for cat lovers (they don’t just have to be for men!):

Sadly, they don’t tell you where you can order them, but I suppose a Google Image Search will help you out. Here are my favorite six:

. . . and the “if it fits, I sits” classic:


Here from Open Culture is an article of tremendous historical interest: a compilation of cat names used in the Middle Ages (you may be familiar with Pangur Bán). Click to read; I’ve indented excerpts.

The text:

“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,” declares the opening poem in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. But the possibilities are many and varied: “Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James”; “Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter”; “Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat.” Things must have been  less complicated in the Middle Ages, when you could just call a cat Gyb and be done with it. “The shortened form of the male name Gilbert, Gyb” explains Kathleen Walker-Meikle in Medieval Cats, dates as “a popular name for individual pet cats” at least back to the late fourteenth century.

In a slightly different form, the name even appears in Shakespeare, when Falstaff describes himself as “as melancholy as a gib cat.” Gyb’s equivalent across the Chanel was Tibers or Tibert; the sixteenth-century French poet Joachim du Bellay kept a “beloved gray cat” named Belaud.

Legal texts reveal that the Irish went in for “cat names that refer to the animal’s physical appearance,” like Méone (“little meow”), Cruibne (“little paws”), and Bréone (“little flame”). Walker-Meikle also highlights Pangur Bán, a cat “immortalized in a ninth-century poem by an Irish monk.” This hymn to the parallel skills of human and feline begins, in Seamus Heaney’s English translation, as follows:

Pangur Bán and I at work,

Adepts, equals, cat and clerk:

His whole instinct is to hunt,

Mine to free the meaning pent.

I like Auden’s translation better, and I’ve put it below.

Frequent Open Culture readers may be reminded of the twelfth-century Chinese poet who wrote of being domesticated by his own cats, verses we featured here a few years ago. More recently, we put up a list of 1,065 Medieval dog names, which run the gamut from Garlik, Nosewise, and Hosewife to Hornyball, Argument, and Filthe. You’ll notice that the names given to dogs in the Middle Ages seem to have been more amusing, if less dignified, than the ones given to cats. Perhaps this reflects the strong, clearly centuries-and-centuries-old differences between the natures of the animals themselves, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. But whatever our preferences in that area, who among us couldn’t do with a Pangur Bán of our own?

This link gives the Pangur Bán poem (the name means “white Pangur”) in the original old Irish text, and below is the original transcription by an Irish monk living in Germany: (I’ve indicated the poem):

Samuel Barber turned the English version of the poem into one of his “Hermit Songs“; below is a beautiful version by Barbara Bonney with André Previn at the keyboard. I love the poem because it compares a scholar’s efforts to study with a cat’s efforts to catch a mouse. The lyrics are Auden’s version, the best translation I know of. I rate this poem, along with “For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry” (a fragment of Christopher Smart’s Jubilate Agno) as the two best cat poems ever.

The Monk and His Cat

adapted by W. H. Auden from an 8th or 9th century anonymous Irish text

Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we are
Alone together, Scholar and cat.
Each has his own work to do daily;
For you it is hunting, for me, study.
Your shining eye watches the wall;
My feeble eye is fixed on a book.
You rejoice when your claws entrap a mouse;
I rejoice when my mind fathoms a problem.
Pleased with his own art
Neither hinders the other;
Thus we live ever
Without tedium and envy.
Pangur, white Pangur,
How happy we are,
Alone together, Scholar and cat.


Lagniappe: Readers’ cats in Boxes.

Here’s reader Divy’s cat Jango, playing a homeless moggy. As she said, “This is what happens when you leave an unattended box. He kept hanging out there so much that I placed the little cup next to it. He didn’t mind”  Note what’s written on the cup:

And here’s reader Merilee’s 18-pound chonk named Booker T, in a photo called “Even if I don’t fits. . .”

From Deborah:

This is Morrie (of (Morrie’s Bar & Grille) recovering from a catnip hangover.  He owns the joint, so he sleeps it off in his box on top of the video game, in a sunbeam by morning.  And he never lacks company, since thanks to his beer goggles, all girl cats become Persians at last call.

h/t: Ginger K.

Caturday felid trifecta: Handsome men and their even handsomer cats; three cats hold a blender hostage for weeks; wandering moggies; and lagniappe

January 28, 2023 • 10:15 am

From I Heart Cats we have a passel of pictures of well-known men or simply good-looking men, all with their their cats, proving that hot guys can still be tender toward moggies. Click to read, and I’ll put some specimens below:

Robert Downey, Jr.: “Robert Downey Jr. says his “cat lover cred goes way back” …

Robert Downey Jr/Facebook

James Franco:

Not only is Franco a book lover, but he’s a cat lover as well. His two cats, Sammy and Zelda, reportedly earned their names from literary sources. Smart is sexy, so is a soft spot for felines…

Cat Rapper Moshow:

Speaking of a soft spot for cats, The Cat Rapper Moshow is all kinds of handsome with his love of cats and his respect for women. He’s raising Black $avage, Sushi, Lil Parmesan, Mega Mam, and DJ Ravioli to be fine cats who give back…

Crikey: this one has gold chains and a hoodie:


Surprise! Snoop Dogg is a cat lover!

Some years ago, it was reported the Dogg Father was actually a cat lover. Snoop spoils his two Siamese cats, Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra. Here, we see the handsome Dogg and his tuxedo friend…

Chris Hemsworth:

Just when we thought Chris Hemsworth couldn’t be any cuter, he goes and poses with cats…

If you like these, see a lot more on the Hot Dudes With Cats Instagram page.


From NPR(!). Click on headline to read:

An excerpt:

Jessica Gerson-Neeves and her wife, Nikii, are really looking forward to using their new Vitamix blender to whip up smoothies and soups. In fact, the highly anticipated Black Friday purchase has recently become the focal point of their kitchen at home in British Columbia, Canada.

There’s just one problem: They can’t actually unpack it.

“It arrived in the mail on Dec. 16, and I brought it inside and set the box down on the kitchen floor for just a quick second,” Gerson-Neeves says. “And that was a month ago.”

The cardboard box has become the site of a weekslong turf war between the couple and their three cats, in a saga that has garnered thousands of invested followers on social media.

Gerson-Neeves has posted near-daily updates on the cats’ Facebook page (warning: language), documenting their hilariously formal changing of the guard, ever-shifting alliances and misadventures involving decoy boxes.

The posts read like dispatches from the front lines of a high-stakes battle, documenting the trio’s every move and their humans’ unsuccessful attempts to disrupt them.

The youngest troublemaker is Max, a tuxedo cat with the alias “sentient soccer ball.” Then there’s George, Destroyer of Worlds (“that’s what’s on his tag,” Gerson-Neeves says), also known as “sentient potato.” Rounding out the group is Lando Calrissian, who moonlights in the posts as “questionably sentient dust bunny” because, according to Gerson-Neeves, “he has a lot of fluff and very few thoughts.”

The cats’ page has grown from 64 followers to some 25,000, as people around the world learn about the story.

Gerson-Neeves stressed in a phone interview that the cats aren’t literally holding the Vitamix hostage. They could, of course, be hoisted off the box at any point. But she says she and her wife aren’t in a rush to end the stalemate since it’s providing some much-needed levity.

It all began, Gerson-Neeves says, when Max hopped on the Vitamix box as soon as she put it down that fateful December day. Like any besotted cat owner, she thought it was adorable and snapped a picture, which she posted to a cat-lovers Facebook group.

“I posted it with a tongue-in-cheek caption about how this was breaking news, which clearly this was not, and by the next day I think about 10,000 people had interacted with the post,” she explains.

She wrote jokingly in the original post that she would provide updates if the standoff continued, and members of the group held her to that promise, even as days turned into weeks.

Here’s a snippet from Jan. 4, or “WEEK 2, DAY 7“:

There’s a lot more at the NPR site, including a report that the blender company, when informed of this hostage situation, sent Geerson-Neves family THREE empty blender boxes so they could reclaim their appliance.  Here’s Jessica’s report to Vitamix that elicited the sending of boxes.


From the BBC. It doesn’t really explain “why some cats just go where they want,” but gives three classes of wandering moggies, “supermarket cats,” “hospital cats,” and “cat burglars,” with several examples of each. Click to read; I’ll give one cat from each genre:

Henry the Hospital Cat:

Cats in a clinical setting are probably not ideal, but for more than five years fluffy ginger cat Henry has been a regular visitor to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge – with more than 5,000 followers on his Facebook page.

Although he has a comfortable home nearby, the seven-year-old has made the hospital site his second home – despite being put outside whenever he’s spotted patrolling the corridors.

Bosses at Addenbrooke’s continue to embrace Henry as one of their own and acknowledge the cat “does seem to have found a place in the hearts of many of our staff and patients” – but they are keen that he is not encouraged inside.

“In any hospital, the administrators will be thinking about allergies, but on the other hand there’s the consideration about how popular Henry is and at times of stress, cats genuinely are stress relievers,” Mr Tabor says.

“Of course, you can try to police a cat, but in an environment with revolving or open doors, it’s very difficult. It’s a real dilemma.”

Garfield the Supermarket Cat:

Ginger cat Garfield. . . found fame at Sainsbury’s in Ely.  Garfield – “Mr Sainsbury’s” – amassed thousands of followers on social media before his death in 2019

Cat expert Roger Tabor, from Brightlingsea in Essex, says the reason they chose supermarkets is because “both these cats are very social animals, which doesn’t happen unless they’re socialised with people very early on”.

Theo the Cat Burglar:

Theo is a 13-year-old Siamese cross who has been terrorising parts of Ipswich with his thieving ways and embarrassing his owners for years.

He is a cat burglar – a kleptomaniac kitty who apparently cannot be reformed.

Theo has been known to break into neighbours’ homes through open windows or cat flaps and bring home any treasures he can find, from soft toys to cash and Christmas decorations.

“Cat burglars like Theo are rare – but they make headline news,” Mr Tabor says.

“With cats like this, the normal developmental pattern in the very early weeks didn’t happen and while he wants to hunt and retrieve things, he’s become fixated on toys which he thinks of as prey.

“From the cat’s point of view, he’s not a thief, he’s just behaving normally.”

Theo shows no signs of mending his criminal ways.

“At the moment he likes to visit my neighbour and steal his cats’ Kevin the Carrot soft toys,” Ms Drouet says.

“We’ve talked to Theo about his thieving, but I don’t think even he knows why he does it.

“He definitely has a shifty look about him – maybe his dad came from the wrong side of the tracks and it’s genetic.”

Theo stashes his take under the fridge:


Lagniappe:  Here are some beautiful medieval lynx earrings from The History Blog.  Aren’t they lovely?

A pair of medieval gold earrings shaped like lynxes with minutely intricate decoration are going on display for the first time since they were discovered near the medieval Armenian city of Ani in eastern Turkey.

The gold lynx earrings were discovered in the village of Subatan, less than 10 miles away from Ani on the Silk Road route that traverses the ruins of the citadel. They weigh 22 grams and are decorated with star, teardrop and crescent shapes applied in granulation technique. They are exquisite examples of medieval Armenian art. The museum acquired the earrings in 1994, but they have been kept in protective storage.

h/t: Ginger K., Reese, Malcolm, Barry

Caturday felid trifecta: cats destroying stuff through history; Mittens the chess-playing catbot; cat frustrated by child lock on microwave; and lagniappe

January 21, 2023 • 9:15 am

Here’s a thread of artwork showing cats destroying stuff through history. Cats have been cats ever since they were domesticated—or rather, domesticated themselves—about 10,000 years ago. A few tweets from the thread:


Here’s a chess-playing bot cat that’s the subject of a Wall Street Journal article, complete with a video. Click on the screenshot to read:

An excerpt:

The heels of the chess world have included Soviet grandmasters, alleged cheaters, and faceless supercomputers. But the game’s latest villain is a fearsome genius who quotes French cinema and has played millions of games in just a couple of weeks.

She also happens to be a mean cat.

Mittens—or technically the chess bot known as Mittens—might look cute. Her listed chess rating of a single point seems innocuous. But her play over the past few weeks, which has bedeviled regular pawn-pushers, grandmasters, and champions who could play for the world title, is downright terrifying. And as it turns out, people are gluttons for punishment.

Since introduced this bot with the avatar of a cuddly, big-eyed kitten on Jan. 1, the obsession with playing her has been astonishing. Mittens has crashed the website through its sheer popularity and helped drive more people to play chess than even “The Queen’s Gambit.” has averaged 27.5 million games played per day in January and is on track for more than 850 million games this month—40% more than any month in the company’s history. A video that American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura posted to YouTube titled “Mittens The Chess Bot Will Make You Quit Chess” has already racked up more than three million views.

When you play Mittens, she is arrogant and sarcastic, as a cat would be. Here’s a screenshot after a move from the video below.

(From WSJ): screenshot of a chess game against the Mittens chess bot PHOTO: CHESS.COM

None of those moments have driven people to virtual chess boards quite like a cat named Mittens who likes to taunt her opponents while she destroys them.

“I am inevitable. I am forever. Meow. Hehehehe,” Mittens tells her opponents in the chat function of games.

And the 22-minute video showing a game:

More about the nefarious catbot:

This particular bot was the brainchild of a Hamilton College student named Will Whalen who moonlights as a creative strategy lead. He had a crazy idea. What if they put an incredibly strong bot behind some devastatingly cute eyes?

“Then Mittens was born,” Whalen says.

But Mittens didn’t become a brutal troll until a writer named Sean Becker led a team that developed Mittens’s personality to become the evil genius tormenting chess players everywhere. Part of why Mittens has become such a notorious villain is because she acts like one.

Mittens doesn’t purr. She references ominous lines from Robert Oppenheimer, Van Gogh, and even a 1960s Franco-Italian film called “Le Samourai.”

“Meow. Gaze into the long abyss. Hehehehe,” Mittens says, quoting German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

Even her approach to the game is menacing. Mittens is designed to be skillful enough to beat the best chess players on the planet but uses particularly grueling tactics. Becker thought it would be “way more demoralizing and funny” if, instead of simply smashing opponents, Mittens grinded down opponents through painstaking positional battles, similar to the tactics Russian grandmaster Anatoly Karpov used to become world champion.

Try your hand! If you’re a chess aficionado, can you beat Mittens?


Here’s a video of moggy getting foiled by the childproof lock on the microwave. But why does the cat want in so badly? The answer is below. You know that the cat eventually would have dragged the microwave off the edge had the filmer not been there to stop him.

The YouTube notes from ViralHog:

“Bentley is a 4-year-old Himalayan who we worked with a local rescue to rescue from the streets. Through Facebook, we confirmed he has no owner so we stepped in, after already having 4 cats we thought, ‘What’s one more?’ Bentley is the sweetest cat but has a strong affinity for finding food, probably due to his time surviving outside. He once got pizza out of our microwave and that is when we learned he could open it. We didn’t want to have to buy a new one since we just got that one, so we put a child lock on it. Needless to say, he wasn’t happy about that and was determined to get the microwave open”


Lagniappe: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, showing a sense of humor, published a 2023 cat calendar. The pdf is free to download, so you don’t have to pay for it.

The US Army Corps of Engineers’s Portland District published its annual calendar with striking photos of big projects across the region… enhanced with giant cats. Download the PDF here.

“Engineering is not that exciting,” public affairs specialist Chris Gaylord told “We all believe that what we do is very important, and that’s the reason we don’t take our social media so seriously.”

Great attitude although I, for one, find massive dams, monstrous construction equipment, and huge ships to be quite exciting.

Here are a few months.

And the best month (mark your calendars!):

h/t: Matthew, Barry, Peter