Caturday felid trifecta: Cats sleeping in strange places; Dubai’s stray cat cafe; a bogus “demon cat”; and lagniappe

April 10, 2021 • 9:30 am

From Pupperish we have a compendium that seems to crop up regularly. Click on the screenshot to see the oddly sleeping moggies.

This cat apparently has three beds but prefers to sleep in a loaf pan. (from reddit)

This cat prefers a wok:

There are many photos of cats neglecting fancy and expensive commercial cat beds for mundane locations. Here are three.

From reddit:

From reddit:

 

From reddit:

One more, but go look at the other 44! (There are several examples of cats who will sleep in their cat beds, but only if you put a cardboard box into it.)

From reddit:

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From the Guardian we learn of a cat café in Dubai that doubles as an adoption center—as all good cat cafés should. This is the first such establishment in the Middle East, though I would have thought there would be one in Turkey. Click on screenshot to read the tale

25 cats live in the cafe, and the article is all pictures. The first one shows the owner:

This is a lovely cat:

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From The Sun (of course) we have a “demon cat” who some people think needs an exorcism. Click on the screenshot:

It’s a nice cat (a Cornish Rex)! Text is indented:

A CAT with “creepy” facial expressions has been dubbed a demon according to an exorcist who has urged the pet’s owner to “cage him and pray.”

Alyson Kalhagen, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, intended to showcase the “beauty and refinement” of her cat Pixel through posting photos of her beloved cats online, but received quite a different response.

All photo credits: Kennedy News and Media

But Pixel can look a bit, well, deranged:

The “creepy” cat images of Kalhagen’s Cornish Rex prompted people to repeatedly claim he must be possessed by a demon.

The 39-year-old cat mom revealed she’s constantly contacted by those afraid of her little kitty – who’s been likened to a “sleep paralysis demon” and labeled as the “creepiest cat ever.”

The mother-of-one said her two-year-old cat’s “unique looks” have sparked curiosity among onlookers – with some comments, coming from a “place of real fear and hesitation.”

An exorcist contacted Kalhagen earlier this month to warn her that a demon was using her pet as a “puppet,” telling her she must keep Pixel caged and pray “over and over” in front of him for the demon to leave.

Here’s that contact:

Kalhagen has admitted that Pixel – equipped with disproportionately large eyes, ears and small head – has left her “startled” at times.

She said she refrained from uploading images of Pixel with expressions “too wild for public consumption.”

Despite the feline’s demonic looks, Kalhagen has claimed he’s actually a “very loving cat” – one with more than 12,000 followers on social media.

I think Pixel is a lovely cat. Don’t you agree?

Pixel with her staff:

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LagniappeFrom DNYUZ we have a cat-related case of a digital product selling for a lot of money in cryptocurrency. In this case the digital image is of Nyan Cat, a character

And oy, did it make some $$ for the owner:

In the 10 years since Chris Torres created Nyan Cat, an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body leaving a rainbow trail, the meme has been viewed and shared across the web hundreds of millions of times.

On Thursday, he put a one-of-a-kind version of it up for sale on Foundation, a website for buying and selling digital goods. In the final hour of the auction, there was a bidding war. Nyan Cat was sold to a user identified only by a cryptocurrency wallet number. The price? Roughly $580,000.

Mr. Torres was left breathless. “I feel like I’ve opened the floodgates,” he said in an interview on Friday.

The sale was a new high point in a fast-growing market for ownership rights to digital art, ephemera and media called NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens.” The buyers are usually not acquiring copyrights, trademarks or even the sole ownership of whatever it is they purchase. They’re buying bragging rights and the knowledge that their copy is the “authentic” one.\

It’s totally insane!

Blockchain technology, which is most often associated with Bitcoin, is changing that. NFTs rely on the technology to designate an official copy of a piece of digital media, allowing artists, musicians, influencers and sports franchises to make money selling digital goods that would otherwise be cheap or free.

In an NFT sale, all the computers hooked into a cryptocurrency network record the transaction on a shared ledger, a blockchain, making it part of a permanent public record and serving as a sort of certification of authenticity that cannot be altered or erased.

The nascent market for these items reflects a notable, technologically savvy move by creators of digital content to connect financially with their audience and eliminate middlemen.

Some NFT buyers are collectors and fans who show off what they have bought on social media or screens around their homes. Others are trying to make a quick buck as cryptocurrency prices surge. Many see it as a form of entertainment that mixes gambling, sports card collecting, investing and day trading.

h/t: Matthew, Su, Ginger K.

Caturday felid trifecta: Thailand’s fluffiest cat; stray cat becomes BFFs with lynx in a zoo; gangster cats get a new bathroom—and lagniappe

April 3, 2021 • 8:30 am

I’ll point out that although I’m on the road, you will still get your Caturday felids, though I’m not sure how many people look at the weekly cat post.

First, from Paws Planet, we meet Bone Bone, a very fluffy and odd-looking cat (click on screenshot):

A bit of information and then some photos; you can see more on his Instagram page.

Ever seen a cat so fluffy it looks unreal? Meet Bone Bone from Thailand.

Not only is this adorable cat super fluffy but he’s practically a celebrity now in Thailand!

With upwards of 30k followers on Instagram, Bone Bone enjoys doing many adventurous things like playing at the park and tree climbing – all while wearing a tiny yellow spiky backpack!

The article also adds this: “However, what he actually does not like is being petted. Instead, he simply likes to keep his fabulous fur to himself,”  So why is his staff letting everyone pet him?

But why does he wear a spiky backpack?

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From BeoPeo, a stray cat befriended a lynx at the St. Petersburg Zoo, and wasn’t eaten!

The text, followed by a few photos and a video:

No matter what kind of animal you are, friendships develop equally. This pair of friends is living proof: at the St. Petersburg Zoo, a European lynx has befriended a Russian kitten. The kitten was reportedly homeless and found some food where the lynx lived. The lynx was not only good at sharing, but they also became good friends.

People explain that the cat considers the lynx to be her mother since she was just a kitten when she made this friend. Seeing their incredible and unusual friendship, the zoo adopted the cat so that they could live together, as they still do.

I’m sure the lynx was lonely, and it’s good that it has a friend. They even groom each other!

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We have a very weird video featuring Mr. Khrong, the gangster cat, and his followers. They don’t want to take baths, but change their minds when they see the lovely new cat-friendly bathroom.

This is an ad for COTTO, a design studio in Thailand.

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Lagniappe: There’s new science paper on Arχiv, which you can dowload here.

As you can see, the paper was co-written by the cat Chester. Here’s the abstract:

Abstract My cat Chester investigates the elusive relationship between the appearance in my hand of a silver laser pointer and that of a red dot on the wall, or on the floor, or on any other object that resides within the vicinity of the laser pointer. Chester first assesses preliminary establishments for causality, including mutual information, temporal precedence, and control for third variables. These assessments are all inconclusive for various reasons. In particular, mutual information fails to illuminate the problem due to a dearth of information regarding what the laser pointer might have been doing at times following Chester’s first awareness of the dot. Next Chester performs a formal reconstruction of phase space via time-delay embedding, to unfold the gggggggggggfffgfgtredvteometry ,mmmm………,.„……,.mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm of the underlying dynamical system giving rise to the red dot’s trajectory. The resulting attractor does not resemble a laser pointer. The reconstruction could, however, be flawed, for example, due to the short temporal duration of the dot’s observed trajectory. Finally, the red dot could be a hallucination: a symptom brought on by COVID-19 – because, well, these days pretty much anything might be a symptom brought on by COVID-19. On this note, Chester’s kitten brother Mad Dog Lapynski offers an independent check on the red dot’s existence. Moreover, the results of this study are inconclusive and ca[pokilki[[[[[ll for follow-up.

And one of the several figures:

h/t: Nicole, Ginger K

Caturday felids: A Japanese meal for cats, a really nasty moggy, and a cat realizes its owner is pregnant

March 27, 2021 • 9:15 am

Rachel and Jun are a couple living in Japan: he’s Japanese and she’s American, and they each post videos. They own three cats and Jun is an accomplished cook. When Jun makes meals, he allows his cats to watch and sniff the ingredients (they’re very patient). On occasion he makes special meals for the moggies, as he does here, and they’re prepared with as much care as with the meals he makes for himself and Rachel. Here’s Jun’s YouTube notes.

I tried to make a traditional-style Japanese meal for my cats! It’s a set menu (miso soup, rice with furikake, and fish) except the food is all made out of cat-safe ingredients.

Look at those fancy cat meals! And they licked their plates clean!

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From Canada’s National Post we hear of an unnamed Devil Cat who is terrorizing a neighborhood in Ottawa (click on screenshot):

An excerpt:

A cat with a bad attitude is raising hackles in the Glebe where one resident has taken to publicly begging its owner to keep the “predatory” animal indoors.

Forrest Hartman, 30, posted handbills along Powell Avenue that asked of her neighbours: “Do you own a stocky grey cat with a blue tag and a s–t attitude?”

“Please consider keeping your monster inside,” the handbill continued. “Your cat has attacked my cat at least a dozen times on my property.”

The public cat shaming was necessary, Hartman said Friday, because she didn’t dare try to read the cat’s collar tag to find its owner.

Hartman has lived in a ground-floor apartment on Powell Avenue for two years with her fiancé and their two cats, Schatzi and Yuri. For the past year, she said, the feline she knows as “angry satan cat” has been menacing six-year-old Schatzi — it means “sweetheart” in German — who likes to lounge on the property’s front and back porches.”

Here’s the “angry cat”. Note that he has a collar, so he’s not feral:

. . . and the handbill Hartman has put up:

It’s believed the offending cat lives on Renfrew Avenue, one street north of Powell.

Michael Slavitch, a dog owner who lives on Renfrew, said he often sees the cat in question. He defended its character: “He’s just a big old tomcat that’s territorial,” Slavitch said. “If he knows you, especially if you’re a 15-year-old girl, he’ll flop on the sidewalk and put his belly up in the air.”

Last summer, Slavitch noted, he did see the cat running down the street with a dead least weasel in its mouth, and he has seen it chase dogs that try to be aggressive around it. “He’s the neighbourhood zero f—s cat,” he said. “It’s actually a pretty cool cat.”

Another local dog owner, lawyer Shane Zurbrigg, said angry cat has menaced his dog, a German shepherd-Labrador retriever mix, and was not the least bit intimidated by the dog’s size. It weighs more than 100 pounds.

“This cat has chased after us,” Zurbrigg said. “I’m in the mood to run away but my dog is like, ‘We don’t run away from cats.’ It’s definitely a cat with a s–t attitude.”

Here’s a video of Hartman explaining her woes:

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And here’s an adorable one-minute video of a cat apparently realizing that its staff is pregnant. This has gotten over seven million views since it was posted on March 2 of this year!

 

h/t: GInger K., Christopher

Caturday felid trifecta: The return of Maru, with a new kitten; indifferent cats; Thai sailors rescues cats on sinking boat (and lagnaippe)

March 20, 2021 • 9:00 am

Whatever happened to Maru? Well, the pudgy Japanese Scottish Fold cat has his own Wikipedia page, which informs us that his owner, “mugumogo”, has adopted to additional cats: Hana in 2013 and Miri in 2020. Maru is now 13—a Senior Cat—and still loves to climb into boxes of any size.

I used to love watching Maru videos (he’s the most-watched animal on the Internet), and don’t know why I haven’t lately. Fortunately, an alert reader reminded me, and here are two newish videos. The first one features Miri playing with Hana and Maru getting into a decrepit box (or rather crushing it).  Maru then squeezes into a plastic bucket, and he’s sticking out a lot!

Here playful Kitten Miri watches Maru execute a tricky forward roll into a narrow plastic container. She then apes her older brother, doing her own forward roll. I swear, Maru’s penchant for squeezing into tiny containers must bespeak some fundamental insecurity, like Linus’s need for his blanket.

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CAT SCIENCE! The article below reports on a 2020 paper in Animal Behavior and Cognition paper that purports to test whether your cat would favor someone observed to help you (opening a jar) over someone who refused to help you. (Sample size: 36 moggies.) Previous work showed that dogs favor the helper. Unsurprisingly, cats don’t. DUH!

Their summary:

In the experiment, a cat watched as her owner tried to open a box to get at something inside. Two strangers sat on either side of the owner and the owner turned to one of them and asked for help. In “helper” trials, the stranger helped the owner to open the box. In “non-helper” trials, the stranger refused. The other stranger sat passively, doing nothing.

Then, both strangers offered the cat a treat, and the scientists watched to see which the cat approached first. Did she prefer to take food from a helper over a passive bystander? This would indicate a positivity bias, showing the helpful interaction made the cat feel more warmly towards the stranger. Or did she avoid taking food from the non-helper? This negativity bias might mean the cat felt distrustful.

When this method was used to test dogs, they showed a clear negativity bias. The dogs preferred not to take food from a stranger who refused help to their owner. In contrast, the cats in the new study were completely indifferent. They showed no preference for the helpful person and no avoidance of the unhelpful person. Apparently, as far as cats are concerned, food is food.

There’s also a summary in Gizmodo, which adds a possible reason:

Dogs have been in humanity’s orbit longer than cats, for one. And even before we started teaming up to tackle common goals, dogs’ ancient ancestors were thought to frequently cooperate with one another to hunt and survive. Cats, as the researchers politely put it, “originated from a less gregarious ancestor than did dogs,” and we haven’t bred or trained them to perform specific tasks with us anywhere near as much as we have with dogs.

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Many readers sent me articles about how the Thai navy rescued four ginger cats that were marooned on a sinking ship. It was a lovely thing to do, and is described in the PuffHo article below, as well as by  the BBC and The Washington Post.

Four cats were marooned on a sinking and burning boat. Several days before that, the sailors had been rescued, but the bastards left four cats behind. No worries, though, the Thai Navy to the rescue!

From the WaPo:

Wide-eyed and panicked, the felines huddled together. When the help they so desperately needed arrived, it came in the form of a 23-year-old sailor and his team of Thai navy officials.

In what can only be described as the purr-fect rescue mission, the sailors said they had approached the capsized vessel in a bid to check for oil spills but soon noticed the animals were on board.

“I used my camera to zoom in to the boat, and I saw one or two cats popping their heads out,” explained First-Class Petty Officer Wichit Pukdeelon of the navy’s air and coastal defense division.

Photo from Reuters. Poor scared kitties!

Wide-eyed and panicked, the felines huddled together. When the help they so desperately needed arrived, it came in the form of a 23-year-old sailor and his team of Thai navy officials.

In what can only be described as the purr-fect rescue mission, the sailors said they had approached the capsized vessel in a bid to check for oil spills but soon noticed the animals were on board.

“I used my camera to zoom in to the boat, and I saw one or two cats popping their heads out,” explained First-Class Petty Officer Wichit Pukdeelon of the navy’s air and coastal defense division.

According to local media, crew members of the capsized boat were rescued by a passing ship on Tuesday, but somehow the four cats had been left behind.

Knowing they had to move fast to save the abandoned animals, Thatsaphon Saii jumped into the ocean, battling strong currents. After paddling some 50 feet to reach the boat, Saii was captured on camera swimming the animals to safety — with one of the cats perched delicately upon his back as he returned to his crew, who were on standby with a rope.

“I immediately took off my shirt and put on a life jacket so I could jump into the sea. The flames were at the back of the boat, but it was starting to sink, so I knew I had to be quick,” he recalled, adding that he was “so relieved” that the navy had been able to rescue the cats.

Look at this guy saving a kitty. He deserves a medal! Apparently he made four trips to the boat.

A Thai navy officer swims with a rescued cat on his back in the Andaman Sea on Tuesday. (First Petty Officer Wichit Pukdeelon via Reuters) (Po1 Wichit Pukdeelon/Po1 Wichit Pukdeelon Via Reuters)

The group were swiftly branded “heroes” after footage of the incident circulated widely on social media, with the young sailor in particular causing a stir among animal lovers online.

Many embraced the pawsitive news amid the bleakness of a the coronavirus pandemic.

“This made my week,” wrote one user on Twitter. “Good things can happen,” wrote another.

Once back at the navy’s official command post, the cats were wiped down and dried off with towels and fed by their rescuers, who cradled them, played with them and posed for photographs alongside their new furry friends, who now have a very global fan base.

There are videos at the BBC and HuffPo; here are two screenshots:

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Lagnaippe:  From Mental Floss (click on screenshot):

There are two questions to be answered? Why do cats sleep in bed with you? (Mine always did.) And why do they sleep at the foot of the bed? There are speculative answers at the article below, masquerading as demonstrated truths.

h/t: Ginger K., Tom, Peter

Caturday felid trifecta: Human plays piano for cats; cat park in Colombia; bag of kittens mistaken for a bomb; and lagniappe

March 13, 2021 • 9:20 am

It’s Saturday, and that means Caturday. Here’s an article from The Mary Sue (click on screenshot) about a Turkish man who not only rescues stray cats, but serenades them on the piano—with original compositions!

An excerpt:

Duman is a Turkish pianist who has made it his life’s work to rescue abandoned street cats and in turn steal our hearts. He has about 19+ cats and they all love one thing: sarper playing piano for them while they laze about.

And he doesn’t play just any songs, either. Duman spends his time composing original pieces that his feline friends can enjoy. In a way, it’s therapy for the cats, who have had a hard life. But it’s also a way for Duman to practice self care of the daily. Why? Because about 10 years ago, Duman was in crisis, and according to a Facebook video profile, he found himself in a park one day, and a stray cat made his way over Duman and into his life.

There are five videos, and I’ll show two:

And here are Fevzi and Melahat enjoying a tune:
Author Lyra Hale adds this:

Make sure to follow [Duman] on Instagram and Twitter for more quality cat videos that put the cats and viewers into a state of calm like nothing I’ve experienced before!

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From CNN; Click on screenshot:

An excerpt:

Sheriff’s deputies in Ohio were called when a suspicious bag was found outside of a church, but what was inside was not what they were expecting.

Upon opening the “suspicious package” on Thursday, the bomb unit from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office discovered a cat and her six adorable 1-day-old kittens. “When Specialist Mike Grimes and Det. Detherage arrived, they didn’t hear ticking they heard purring!” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

Along with the family of felines, was a handwritten message written on a paper napkin stating that “Sprinkles” went into labor the day before.

“Mom’s name is Sprinkles. She began giving birth at 2:00 p.m. Wed. Feb. 17th,” according to the note.

Here’s Sprinkles in the “suspicious package” (I wonder if the person who called the police was actually the person abandoning Sprinkles.)

And the contents:

Finally, the good news: they’re going to be adopted:

The sheriff’s office took the cat and her kittens to the Animal Friends Humane Society in Hamilton where they are “warm, cozy and fed.”

The animal shelter said in a Facebook post on Friday that the kittens received baths when they arrived because they were soaked in their mother’s urine.

“Sprinkles, purring throughout it all, received her vaccines and blood test and appears to be in good health,” according to the shelter’s post. “She’s doing a fantastic job nursing and caring for her babies, and all 7 will be placed with their foster family this afternoon.”

The shelter plans to provide regular updates on Sprinkles and her kittens on Facebook as they grow and mature over the next two months.

If you go to this Facebook post, you’ll see a video of Sprinkles—possibly named for peeing all over her kittens—nursing them all, and seven more photos.

This just goes to show: If you see something, say something!  

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A reader informed me that “there is a cat park in Cali, Colombia, with assorted interesting cat sculptures.”  You can read about the Parque El Gato De Tejada in Wikipedia, AtlasObscura, or Tripfreakz.

Parque del Gato, from the creator of a giant bronze cat sculpture, Hernando Tejada. The giant sculpture, called El Gato Rio – the River Cat, was erected on the banks of Cali River in 1996. El Gato Rio was created in Bogota and transferred to Cali, which already sounds like an impossible feat – the giant cat is 3.5 meters tall and weighs 3 tons. In Cali, the sculpture became the centerpiece of the newly renovated park by the river.

Here’s El Gato del Rio. This huge moggie is accompanied by smaller sculptures; I’ll show a few below.

From Wikipedia:

In 2006, the city planned a revitalization project for the area, which included adding new sculptures near El Gato del Río by other artists. The project consisted of adding 15 new cat sculptures of the same size and shape but painted by different Colombian artists. These new cat sculptures became known as las novies del gato (“the cat’s girlfriends”). Famous Colombian artists contributed cats, including Maripaz Jaramillo, Roberto Molano, Diego Pombo, Cecilia Coronel, Pedro Alcántara, and Omar Rayo.

Today, there are more than 15 cat sculptures exhibited and some of these have been distributed throughout the city.

Some of Las Novies (photos by Tania M. Laden):

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Lagniappe:  A video from AV Club:

Next month, big angry lizard Godzilla will once again face off against big angry monkey King Kong. For most of us, the prospect of watching the clash of these two skyscraper-sized monsters is exciting enough on its own. For JKK Films, though, a kaiju throwdown isn’t complete until it also features the destructive power of a way-too-big house cat.

As the video’s title makes clear, “I Put My Cat Wayne In The Godzilla Vs. Kong Trailer” gives us a vision of a monster movie where the struggle for dominance between lizard and ape is complicated by Wayne, a black cat that surveys its kingdom with impassive eyes. While we’ve seen clips that dare to imagine what it would be like to live in a world ruled over by enormous kitties before, Wayne’s entry into a glossy, CGI-filled landscape of exploding ships and neon-lit cities better shows the devastation his species could wreak if they were only a whole lot taller.

h/t: GInger K., Gregory, Martin

Caturday felids: Cats with extra fluffy tails; cats on glass; a message from the White House cat (not yet in existence) and lagniappe

March 6, 2021 • 9:15 am

You’ll certainly want to see these photos, won’t you? (Click on screenshot.)

I’ll show five of these flufferinos (image credits below photos):

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From Paw.tv we have another clickbait-y cat post (click on screenshot):

And I’ll show five of the ten (no image credits are given):

Hovercat!

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I don’t find the New Woker humor section all that funny, but this one is good—although perhaps it’s just because it’s about the First Cat. But let’s be clear here: despite the Bidens’s repeated assertions that they were going to get a cat, there is not yet a First Cat. In fact, my theory, which is mine, is that they just said that to get on the good side of cat lovers, and that there will never be a Biden White House cat. I hope I’m wrong.

At any rate, you can read this message purporting to be from the White House Cat (written as its thoughts before it moved in), published on December 15 of last year. Click on the screenshot:

A small excerpt:

Look, being First Pet is no box of chocolates. I’m not there yet, but, honey, I know, I already know. My test for any aspiring diplo-cats is to ask them to identify the Monroe Doctrine, Shirley Chisholm, and any reason to think they’ll still be friends with Lindsey Graham or Susan Collins by the end of this Administration. If they can do that, then . . . maybe. Otherwise, I just can’t even. Sorry, little Kansas City calico with Pamela Harriman on the brain, but I’m fresh out of fucks—heavy lifting ahead.

I mean, let’s be real here, the culture of unrealistic expectations for governmental felines was firmly established by that consummate top-feeding suck-up, Socks Clinton. He would sit on Forty-Two’s shoulders. His carrier had the Presidential seal. He schmoozed Bill’s personal secretary. He was so popular that the White House had to tell photographers to leave him alone.

In short, Barf City. Truman Capote, but with more dander. “Across the aisle” does not begin to describe the largesse with which I would like to dispense my regurgitative splendors on the Socks legacy.

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Lagniappe:  This comes from Joe Routon:

I made this photo at the convent of San Marco in Florence, Italy. The Last Supper was painted in 1482 by Domenico Ghirlandaio. The cat, sitting patiently behind Judas, is obviously waiting for someone to toss him a scrap of food.
In an almost identical setting of the Last Supper at the Franciscan Church of Ognissanti in Florence, Ghirlandaio omitted the cat.
Googling cats, I learned that in the Bible cats are often a sign of pending misfortune and could indicate someone is being deceitful or cunning, which would be appropriate in the painting, since it’s seated behind Judas. Or perhaps the church’s main priest wanted his pet cat immortalized.

h/t: Laurie

Caturday felid trifecta: Cat-loving men go dateless; First National Trust guard cat; cats and dominos

February 27, 2021 • 9:30 am

 

This is sad, for I thought that women loved cats and would therefore favor men who loved cats. It turns out, according to this article from the Wall Street Journal (click on screenshot), that if you’re a man who shows a picture of a cat in his Match.com dating profile, you’re less likely (5% only, though) to get a “like” than are catless men. UNLESS, that is, you’re gay, in which case the chances are 5% higher. Click on screenshot:

An excerpt:

Shelly Volsche, an anthropologist at Boise State University, and Lori Kogan, a psychologist at Colorado State University, hypothesized that women would find a man with a cat more attractive because the cat would make him seem more trustworthy, gentle and caring—attributes that might signal his value as a potential long-term mate and future father.

To test the idea, the researchers showed groups of heterosexual women photos of a man with a cat and another photo of the same man without a cat. Two different men were photographed sitting in a chair against a white background. Each wore a blue shirt, and each was pictured alone in one photo and with a cat on his lap in the second photo. The same cat, a ginger tabby, was used both times.

A group of 708 women saw photos of one of the men, and a second group of 680 women saw photos of the other.

Whether the women saw the cat photo first or second was randomized, but regardless of the order, the man photographed with a cat was viewed as less masculine, more neurotic and, ultimately, less datable.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Animals, has limitations. Only women ages 18 to 24 participated, a range selected because that’s traditionally when women begin looking for a long-term mate. Both men who posed for the photographs were college-age and white.

I don’t care what the data say, there’s something wrong here!

Here are the data in cartoon form.

Sadly, d*gs make a man more appealing:

“Dogs are winning,” Ms. DeAlto said, a conclusion also supported by Match’s data. The “like” rate for both straight and gay men who have dogs is 20% higher on average, and the “like” rate for women is 3% higher.

I wonder what effect a duck photo would have. . .

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The Times of London reports the employment of a lovely tuxedo guard cat at one of its properties. The lucky moggy is named LORD ROSCOE.

Ham House is a 1610 mansion in Richmond, southwest of London, and has a long Wikipedia entry. Here it is:

An excerpt:

Staff at Ham House, near Richmond, in southwest London, took in Lord Roscoe, 6, from the Ginger Cat House Rescue centre last spring after the toes of Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fortune, and Mercury, the god of merchants, began to be nibbled away.

She said: “The squirrels have a real thing for the lead and they do a fair amount of damage in a few places, including the roof. The general consensus is they’re doing it to sharpen their teeth, but lead is quite expensive.”

The cat, plain Roscoe at the sanctuary, was ennobled when he took up his post at Ham House. He sleeps in one of two heated polytunnels where seedlings are grown or in the tool shed, but is allowed into staff quarters when it snows or rains.

Lord Roscoe:

(From the Times): Lord Roscoe’s task is to deter squirrels from damaging the statues. Times photographer Richard Pohle.

More:

The guard cat is strictly forbidden from roaming the halls of the main house, however.

Staff joke that Lord Roscoe has its own performance development review objectives but he is not set targets for the number of squirrels chased away, nor the number of pigeons, which peck at the vegetables grown in the kitchen garden.

Slack-Smith said: “The official line is we got him as a deterrent but he is more of a lover, not a fighter. He is a good tour guide and wanders around with the visitors who sometimes share their food and drinks with him. [JAC: drinks??? What kind of drinks???]

The article notes, though, that three other National Trust properties have resident cats, including this famous one:

Jock VII

When Chartwell, in Kent, the home of Winston Churchill, opened to the public in 1966, a year after the former prime minister’s death, his family requested that there always be a marmalade cat named Jock, with a white bib and four white socks, in residence, in memory of Churchill’s own cat. The seventh Jock, a rescue kitten previously known as Sunshine, arrived in May.

The Chartwell Trust site has a full page on Jock VII. Here’s the kitten on Winnie’s statue:

 

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Cats and dominos! Do watch the whole thing; there are several neat bits where the cat’s participation is required to make the dominos fall.  But the ultimate goal, of course, is to feed the kitties.

 

h/t: Neil, Dom, Matthew, Carl

Caturday felid trifecta: Best cat tweets; in love with a cheating cat; rescuing Russia’s cats in winter (and lagniappe)

February 20, 2021 • 9:15 am

Well, this is from HuffPost, but we’ll ignore the source. It’s an article called “60 of the Funnest Tweets About Cats and Dogs this Year“, the year being 2020. I’ll show only the cat tweets, of course, and only a half dozen.

What kind of surgery would require shaving the distal front legs? I hope it’s not DECLAWING!

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This BBC story is about a woman who started letting in and feeding a British shorthair who actually belonged to someone else (click on the screenshot).

The cat was a cheater, and the author, Anisa Subedar, even mentions one of my favorite children’s books about another cheating cat. You should get it for your kids (I own a copy).

Much later, I discovered there is a book about this.

Originally published in 1990, Six Dinner Sid is a children’s book that tells the story of a cat called Sid, who lives at number one Aristotle Street. But Sid also lives at all the other houses on the street and eats at all the homes, whose owners all believe Sid belongs to them.

Unlike the real cats described by Celia Haddon, Sid knows very well what he is doing. But his manipulative plans unravel when he gets sick and the neighbours discover they’re all being played.

Author Inga Moore tells me it was based on a black cat she knew when she lived in north London.

“I heard someone call him by a name which sounded like Sid,” she says. (In fact his name was Ziggy.) “Sid used to come in through the cat flap and make himself at home at number four where I was living. I think his home was number six. Sid in the book was very much Sid in real life and he was the inspiration for the story, which is of course made up.

The cheating cat eventually moved away, and Anisa was heartbroken when the real owner, David, told her this and advised her to get her own cat. So she did the only thing she could:

As the days got shorter and this year started drawing to a close, David’s words about getting a cat resonated hard. I hadn’t realised how much I needed the comfort of something purry and furry on my lap to soothe me during a time of such uncertainty.

So, in anticipation of a winter of discontent, a few weeks ago I picked up a 12-week-old British Shorthair. He’s the colour of a latte and goes by the name of Horace.

I really don’t plan to share Horace with anyone but as I’ve learned, that might not be entirely my decision so if you see him around, you know what to do.

This is a sweet (and true) story, and you can follow Horace, as he has his own Instagram page. Here he is; isn’t he a beaut?

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From the Torygraph via yahoo! news, we have the story of ailurophilic Muscovites who rescue cats beleaguered by the Russian winter (click on screenshot):

An excerpt:

Ramil, who asked his last name to be withdrawn for security reasons, is not a builder but a volunteer making rounds to rescue cats trapped in the basements of Soviet-era blocks of flats which often serve as the only shelter for stray cats in winter’s cold.

Russia is a world beater when it comes to cat ownership. A GfK poll in 2016 showed that 57 per cent of households have at least one cat, the world’s highest.

Russians have only recently been waking up to the reality of stray cats, estimated at hundreds of thousands in Moscow alone, who badly need shelter as temperatures in the capital typically stay below zero for the most part of winter.

In a major victory for cat lovers, Moscow’s parliament this autumn secured a decree by a deputy mayor, ordering all apartment buildings to provide an unfettered access to basement vents for “small pets” and threatening with sanctions for non-compliance.

But not every suburb has this provision, ergo the activists:

On a recent afternoon The Sunday Telegraph joined Ramil on a secret visit to the satellite town of Zheleznodorozhy where utilities companies persist in putting bars on the vents, robbing strays of the only reliable winter shelter.

Guided by local women who appear to know every stray cat in town by name, the activists went around several addresses in the sleepy, snowcovered neighbourhood to inspect the vents.

As pincers failed to snap the bars on one window, Ramil, lying on the concrete walkway around the basement, took out his circular saw and went at it, sparkles flying around.

The activists quickly retreated, anxious to avoid unwanted attention from the police.

There’s a lot more, to read, but here’s are two photos (both by Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr for The Telegraph):

Ramil at work:

A cat opening:

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Lagniappe: Besieged on Japan’s Cat Island!

h/t: Greg, Ginger K., Nicole

Caturday felid trifecta: Frank and Louis, the two-faced cat; spending the night with cheetahs; crow learns to meow for cat food

February 13, 2021 • 10:00 am

After having written the title as “Caturday felid triefecat”, I realized that moving the “a” one place back in “trifecta” produced my misspelling. Coincidence? I think not.

We begin this week’s offering with a video of Frank-and-Louie, a “Janus cat” born with two faces. These cats rarely live very long, but this one went a full fifteen years.  You may think he’s grotesque, but clearly his owner loved him. Here’s some information from YouTube:

Frank and Louie is a cat who was born with two faces, so he has two names. Does that mean he has 18 lives?

It almost seems so now that he has earned a spot as the longest lived Janus cat in the new edition of the Guinness World Records (Guinness has dropped the word “book” from the name in this digital age).

The cat’s owner is a Worcester woman named Marty Stevens who has owned Frank and Louie since a local breeder brought him into Tufts Veterinary Clinic to be euthanized when he was a day old. Marty was a veterinary nurse at Tufts at the time and offered to take him home.

The prognosis, however, was not good. Janus cats, named after the Roman god with two faces, are extremely rare and seldom live more than a few days after being born. Often they die within hours. But under Marty’s dedicated care Frank and Louie flourished. He turned 12 years old on Sept. 8.

Frank and Louie has two mouths, two noses and two normal eyes with one larger non-functioning eye in the center. “That was the first eye to open up when he was two days old so I had a little Cyclops for a while,” Marty said. That’s not an endearing image, and, as often happens with animals and even people who are not exactly like everyone else, Frank and Louie often draws a shocked reaction from onlookers. But that first impression quickly fades.

“He’s just so affectionate and sweet he usually wins people over,” Marty said.

The cat has two faces, but only one head and brain, so the faces react in unison and not as separate entities. Also, two faces doesn’t mean two cans of cat food every morning. The cat’s right side — or Frank’s side — is connected to an esophagus while Louie’s isn’t, so Frank eats for two.

If you look at the cat from the left he looks completely normal. Look at him from the right and he does as well. It is only when you look straight at him that you can see how unusual he is.

Read more about Frank and Louie, two-faced cat at http://www.telegram.com/article/20110…

Frank and Louie, two-faced cat dies at 15 years http://www.telegram.com/article/20141…

Here’s another video, and a bit longer:

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Reader Peter sent me this video. The guy doesn’t just have heater cats, but three heater cheetahs!

Peter notes, “I don’t know if that’s purring at around the five minute mark, but I choose to believe it is!” I think it is indeed!

Now I don’t know if this place takes good care of its animals, so don’t chastise me if it’s an exploitative operation. When I finally do get my “Big Cat Experience,” I’m going to choose a place with a good reputation that treats its animals properly.

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Lots of crows have learned to imitate cats (just do a Google video search for “crow sounds like cat”), but this one is eerily accurate. Click on the Dodo article to read about it and see the crow meowing:

This takes place in Turkey, the world’s most cat-loving nation.  Some background:

Since settling in to her new place in Turkey, animal lover Neslihan Orancı has been leaving food out on the patio for local cats to eat. Nowadays, when the food runs low, the cats let her know — meowing at her door for a refill.

Evidently, this routine didn’t go unnoticed. Unbeknownst to Neslihan and her feline visitors, a certain someone had been watching them from afar.

And he was taking notes.

One day, Neslihan was at home when that familiar sound caught her ear: meowing from outside. It seemed that one of those hungry cats had arrived to find the food bowl empty, and was now asking her for more.

But, looking through the window, Neslihan quickly discovered that it wasn’t a cat. It was actually a crow who’d cleverly learned to meow so he could get free food, too.

“I was very surprised,” Naslihan told The Dodo. “I’ve never heard a crow speak like a cat!”

Here’s the video from Facebook. OMG!

After the initial shock subsided, Neslihan of course gave the crow some food. And then she noticed he’d picked up other cat vocabulary.

“As he ate, he made the sound of an angry cat, the one cats make when they’re fighting,” Neslihan said, “so that any cats around would be scared away.”

The crow’s cat-speak was so convincing, it’s possible he’d been pulling this brilliant ruse for a while without Neslihan noticing. She doesn’t mind though; to her, he deserves to be rewarded for his cleverness.

“It’s very thought-provoking,” Neslihan said. “Cats learned to communicate with us over thousands of years of domestication. But the crow learned it quickly, and for the same gain. It seems they could decode our language before we understand theirs!”

h/t: Chris, Matt

Caturday felid trifecta: Medieval LOLcats, a rare white cougar in Brazil; “grumpy old men” kittens (and lagniappe)

February 6, 2021 • 9:15 am

The staid British Library has surprised us with a post about “Lolcats of the Middle Ages” (yes, that’s the title), and some of them are doozies.  There are five, but I’ll show three with their descriptions.  None of the cats, of course, look like real cats, for, as I’ve noted before, medieval artists had big trouble depicting moggies. Captions are those given by the British Library, and there is more information about the history of cats vs. mice in the text.

Detail of miniatures of cats catching mice, mice stealing eucharistic wafers, and (below), an ancestor of Keyboard Cat: a later marginal doodle of a cat playing a stringed instrument; from a bestiary, England (Salisbury?), 2nd quarter of the 13th century, Harley MS 4751, f. 30v.

Detail of a miniature of a nun spinning thread, as her pet cat plays with the spindle; from the Maastricht Hours, the Netherlands (Liège), 1st quarter of the 14th century, Stowe MS 17, f. 34r; for more on the Maastricht Hours, see our recent post on the manuscript.

Now this is the weirdest one by far. (The story, of course, is bogus.):

And Alexander the Great, whose fictional explorations of the natural world were retold throughout the Middle Ages, included a cat, along with the cock and the dog, as his companions in a proto-submarine.  Here, the animal was not merely a pet, but a natural rebreather, purifying the air so Alexander would not stifle in the enclosed space.  The dog was more unfortunate, chosen as an emergency escape mechanism: water, medieval readers were assured, would expell the impurity of a dog’s dead carcasse.  If Alexander encountered danger, he had only to kill the dog, which would be expelled to the surface, bringing Alexander with it.  As for the cock – everyone knows how valuable they are for telling time with their crows, a useful function underwater, out of sight of the sky.

As we see so often in the painting below, the cat is given a human face:

Detail of a miniature of Alexander exploring the ocean in a glass barrel, accompanied by a cat and a cock; in this version of the story, his unfaithful wife tries to murder him by cutting the cord connecting him with the ship, and it is by killing the cat (not a dog) that he is able to rise to the surface; from Le livre et le vraye hystoire du bon roy Alixandre, France (Paris), c. 1420, Royal MS 20 B XX, f. 77v.

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This headline from National Geographic is guaranteed to grab you (click on screenshot):

From the article (the cougar or puma is Puma concolor):

Photographs recently resurfaced of a ghostly young male striding through Serra dos Órgãos National Park in southeastern Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Taken in 2013, the photographs were the first confirmed case of a wild cougar with leucism, a genetic mutation that turns most of its body white.

We’ve talked about leucism before: it’s not albinism, which effaces all pigmentation, including in the eyes (so true albinos have pink eyes), and leucism is seen among many animal species (see photos here). Here’s the white cougar, who has a striking resemblance to my last cat, Teddy:

Teddy:

More from the article:

For instance, melanism, a surplus of the black pigment melanin, occurs in 14 of the 40 known wild cat species, but no one has ever recorded a black cougar—either in captivity or in the wild. As for albinism, in which animals are unable to produce any kind of pigment—hence their pink eyes—there are only two records of such cougars, Hunter says: one at a zoo and one wild animal treed by hunters in the western United States. And outside of the Brazilian cougar, there is only one other known example of a cougar with leucism: An online photo taken at an unknown zoo, Hunter says.

“Another white cougar may not appear in my lifetime,” he says.

. . . After the photos were taken, researchers had hoped to capture the Brazilian cat and analyze its genes, but they haven’t seen it again, according to Cecília Cronemberger de Faria, an environmental analyst for the national park where the cat was sighted.

. . .The leucistic cougar’s pale coat is likely not a handicap, he adds: As an ambush predator, it would rely on the forest cover to get very close to a small mammal before attacking. Hunting would be more difficult, he notes, if the white cougar were hunting deer in the open plains of the western U.S.

As for its ability to find a mate, he chuckles, “I’m almost certain a female cougar wouldn’t mind.”

I wouldn’t be so sure!

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Another irresistible headline, this time from My Modern Met (click on screenshot):

The Maine Coon cat breed has earned the nickname “gentle giant” for their large stature and playful personalities, but take one look at this litter of newborns and you might think differently. Tatyana Rastorgueva, who runs, Casvill County House of Cats where the kittens were born, recently shared photos of the group of young Maine Coons whose tiny faces could double as grumpy old men.

The five gray babies have characteristics of curmudgeonly people—including furrowed brows and upturned lips. You’d almost expect them to yell at you to get off their lawn. Looks, however, are deceiving. In the many sweet videos that Rastorgueva has shared since their birth, these kitties are like any other young cats. They are docile (when not at play) and make little chirping noises that’ll melt your heart.

Click on the screenshot to go to the videos, and be sure to turn the sound up:

Did you like these? See more at the catsvil    county Instagram site.

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Lagniappe from Stephen. The YouTube caption says:

This lazy cat was in no mood to move – and she simply sprawled out on the floor of a restaurant. The tabby named Thongdang was filmed sleeping comfortably on her back on the wooden floor in Chachoengsao, central Thailand on July 27. When waitresses had to pass by carrying plates, Thongdang would not move and the staff had to step over the cat. The restaurant boss said: ”She’s the kind of cat that does what she wants and everybody else has to accommodate her. ”But we still love her, even when she lays on the ground and won’t move.”

h/t: Stephen B.,