Caturday felid: Jerry the Cat (museum variety)

August 19, 2023 • 8:00 am

Here’s one Caturday Felid item today: a short video of Jerry the Cat, who tends the de Havilland Aircraft Museum:

Just off junction 22 of the M25 by London Colney in Hertfordshire, there sits an almost hidden gem. Down a narrow lane, past a couple of houses and farm buildings and still, within earshot of articulated lorries and modern traffic thundering past, you’ll find the first aviation museum to open its doors in the UK waiting to be discovered.

. . . Easy to reach via the motorway network, affordable to enter and with plenty to see and do – there’s even a friendly house cat called Jerry who enjoys being made a fuss of by the visitors – the de Havilland Aircraft Museum should be on everyone’s radar as a place to visit in 2022, if you haven’t done so already.

The video:

A few planes for aircraft buffs (click to read the caption):

And heeeeere’s Jerry:

Caturday felid trifecta: Comedy cat photos; a “hearing ear” cat wins an award; and a melancholy song by The Kiffness

August 5, 2023 • 9:45 am

This will be the last Caturday felid for a while as I’m off traveling this Friday. Enjoy the moggies!

The Guardian has a selection of the 2023 comedy pet awards. Unfortunately, many of them are about d*gs, but we’ll ignore those. Click below to see the cats:

Captions and photographers from the Guardian:


From the BBC we have the story of Zebby, a “hearing ear cat” for a deaf owner, and a cat who just won an award for his services. Click to read, or see the story below:

A cat who helps his deaf owner by alerting her to sounds around the house has won a national award.

Zebby, a two-year-old black and white cat from Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, was named Cats Protection’s National Cat of the Year.

He supports his owner Genevieve Moss, 66, by tapping her to alert her to noises like the phone or doorbell ringing.

Ms Moss said she “can’t imagine life without Zebby” and is “over the moon”.

Zebby, who has not had any special training, has been chosen from thousands of other pets as overall winner of the National Cat Awards.

The event, organised by the feline welfare charity, was held at Wilton’s Music Hall, in London, on Monday.

Heeeere’s Zebby:

Zebby was one of four finalists in the Family Fur-ever category and won after a public vote.

He was then crowned overall winner by a panel of celebrities and experts, including former footballer David Seaman MBE and veterinarian and TV personality Dr Scott Miller.

His owner said: “I am so proud of Zebby for showing the world how intuitive and caring cats can be, and what a positive effect they can have on people’s lives.

“Without my hearing aid, I can’t hear anything, but now I have Zebby to help me.

“He’ll come and tap me when the phone is ringing, and then I can pop my hearing aid and speaker on and take the call.

“In the night, if there’s an unusual noise he will bat me on my head to wake me up and let me know.”

Zebby even helps Ms Moss by picking up the mail from the doormat and carrying it to her room in his mouth, or bringing in her slippers.

Now THAT is a helpful (and unusual) cat!

“Zebby is very special, I’ve never known a cat quite like him,” she added.

“He loves to be around me, wherever I am, he’s not far behind.

“We’ve got a very close bond and I wouldn’t want to cope without him.

“Living on my own and being deaf means life could be lonely, but not with Zebby around, he’s my hero.”

The cat won a trophy and prize package, which included a £200 pet store voucher.

And here are al; the 2023 awards from Cats Protection (I’ve added links):

Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards organiser Ashley Fryer said: “From the moment we read his entry form, we knew Zebby was something special. Zebby is clearly devoted to Genevieve, and their story highlights the powerful bond that exists between people and their cats. He’s a shining example of the joy and comfort a cat can bring.”

Other category winners were:

  • Eric – Winner of the Social Star category, whose rags to riches story has seen him go from death’s door as a poorly stray kitten to one of Twitter and Instagram’s rising stars.
  • Henry IX – Winner of the Cat Colleagues category, who spends his days providing companionship and humour to the gardening team at Hampton Court Palace.
  • Willow – Winner of the Moggy Marvels category, who raised the alarm when her diabetic owner became unconscious.

Here’s a video of Willow:


Finally, The Kiffness, who specializes in turning caterwaulings into songs, presents a sad ballad from a lonely cat, “Sometimes I’m alone”. (I may have posted this before.) Get your hankies ready!


h/t: Ginger K., Jez, Matthew

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

July 29, 2023 • 10:00 am

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

Click to read:

An excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A news story:


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

Here are a few:

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

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

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

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

Suphalak: Rare yet prized

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

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

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

Si-Sawat: Shimmering eleganc

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

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

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

Khao Manee: Pure as snow

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

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

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

Konja: The black panther

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

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

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



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

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


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

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

h/t: Ginger K., Peter

Caturday felid trifecta: excellent cat memes; missing cat found 10 months later in resort hotel; cat meets lookalike cake

July 22, 2023 • 9:30 am

From Bored Panda, an endless fount of animal fun, comes some “hilariously relatable” (oy!) memes showing what staffing a cat is really like. Click on the screenshot to see fifty. I’ll put up a few.

I’m sure I’ve posted the following photo before, but it never gets old:


Click to read some excerpts of the L.A. Times article:

An excerpt:

Ten months had passed since long-haul truckers Alfonso and Sherrie Meletiche lost their family cat, Baby, while making a delivery in Southern California.

The couple had pulled over at a stop in Rancho Santa Margarita in Orange County when a loud noise caused the feline to break free of her harness and run away.

A search team could not find her. Weeks turned into months. Hope turned into despair.

. . .Ten months later the Meletiches, who live in Fort Myers, Fla., got a surprise call. It was Gail Landau, the founder of Catmosphere Laguna Foundation, which finds homes for rescued and abandoned cats and kittens.

Baby, a Maine Coon mix, had been located. It turned out she had been masquerading as a guest at the five-star Montage Laguna Beach hotel. Landau was able to find her owner because the cat had been outfitted with a microchip, a tiny transponder about the size of a grain of rice implanted in the animal’s skin.

Here’s Baby. Nobody puts her in a corner!

A year earlier, Alonna Meletiche, Alfonso and Sherrie’s daughter, had taken the cat to the veterinarian for its shots and made the decision at that time to have her microchipped, which has become increasingly popular as a way to reunite pet owners with their lost animals.

. . .“I was shocked,” Alfonso said of Landau’s call. “I couldn’t believe it because I, myself, gave up. I said, ‘There’s no way. There’s no way that we’re ever going to get her back,’ but when Gail called, I was overwhelmed, and I was also shocked.”

He immediately booked an airline ticket to California. But then just as quickly he had to cancel his trip when Baby disappeared again from Landau’s house in Mission Viejo.

“I said, ‘Oh my god.’ It’s like feeling this emptiness all over again,” Alfonso said, “just when she was right there within reach.”

Baby would eventually be found again — at the Montage.

. . .When Baby was hanging around the Laguna Beach hotel the first time, passersby had taken to feeding the cat, including resident Nancy Welch, who wound up corralling the feline after her second flight.

“The big mystery is how did the cat get down from Mission Viejo to Laguna,” said Welch, who commented that Baby was living her best life at the luxury resort. “What I keep laughing about is… it’s like a marketing ad for the Montage, that the cat got herself back to the Montage after being at Gail’s house.”

The Meletiche family received the good news. Alfonso flew into John Wayne Airport this week, nervous that Baby might not remember him.

She did.

And here’s Baby, back with her owners after her luxury vacation.  Your take-home lesson: GET YOUR CAT CHIPPED, and DO IT NOW!

Alfonso and Baby were on flight home to Florida on Monday.


Finally, a cat reacts to a cake made to look like the cat! This video, put up two years ago (without any notes) has since accrued 23 million views! The cat freaks out when the staff cuts into its head.

Caturday felid trifecta: Temptation Cat Treat commercials; sea cats in tiny hammocks; Bohemian Catsody

July 15, 2023 • 9:30 am

Reader Divy happened to see this Temptations cat-treat commercial and said this:

Temptation cat treats makes funny commercials, but I saw this one while visiting my mom, and I had to share! Check out the side eye the cat gives her staff 🤣 There are many of their commercials available to watch on youtube.
I’ll put up three videos. The first one has four comercials conCATenated, with first bit showing the side eye.

Here’s a short one:

And another “shake” ad:


Matthew found a bunch of tweets with ships’ cats having their own little hammocks. Here’s a sample:

Seamen do love their kitties!


Here’s a full-on cat parody of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complete with all the endearing features of cats who enstaff us. I especially like their little mouths moving with the words.

It must take hours and hours to put something together like this. Such is the devotion of cat-lovers to the Internet!  The YouTube notes (below) also show that it’s had almost nine million views:

Cats are royalty. We are their willing servants. Bohemian Catsody – enjoy a parody song of the Queen classic, Bohemian Rhapsody, this time, all about CATS! Okay, some have asked, so here you go – if a Bohemian Catsody tshirt or mug is your kind of thing, you can get one here,


h/t: Matthew, Divy, Ginger K.


Caturday felid trifecta: Prisoner rehabilitation through cats; cat glasses; deformed and many-toed kitten gets help; and lagniappe

July 8, 2023 • 10:00 am

All nine ducklings rescued and taken to rehab. Sadly, we could not catch Amy, nor could we lure her to water by putting her ducklings in a visible plastic box. She went only half a block (distance was 1.5 miles) before flying away. After trying to catch her several times, and with the ducklings getting freaked out, we decided to put things to an end and take the ducklings to rehab. They will be at the facility today.

Here are two articles from Bored Panda and the Indianapolis Star about a cat rehab program for prisoners in Indiana. Click either screenshot to read. I’ve taken most of the text from the Star, and pictures from both sites. I’ve taken most of the text from the Star, and pictures from both sites.


From the Star:

Cats are unable to distinguish between street clothes and prison uniforms –– and that’s exactly what makes the relationship between the men at Pendleton Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison outside of Indianapolis, and the cats that live there, so special.

For six hours a day, seven days a week, a handful of men receive unqualified love from the more than 20 cats that live in the prison as part of the FORWARD program, or Felines and Offenders Rehabilitation with Affection, Reformation and Dedication. In exchange for care and a place to stay before being adopted, the cats at Pendleton offer inmates untampered, non-judgemental affection.

In 2015 in the state of Indiana, Animal Protection League started a wonderful program in Pendleton correctional facility called F.O.R.W.A.R.D.

In partnership with the Animal Protection League of Indiana, the program removes cats from a traditional shelter and places them in the prison’s “cat sanctuary,” a wide-open room with scratching posts, climbing structures and nooks to hide in.

The program houses them with incarcerated caregivers, who, incidentally, gain skills such as empathy, responsibility and self-esteem.

LaRussa, who is behind bars for conspiracy to commit robbery — which was botched and ended with accomplices murdering four people — has been involved in the program since 2017, when he fell for a 7-year-old cat named Clover. He and his wife have since adopted Clover, and she lives at home with LaRussa’s wife.

Every day, LaRussa and his peers start their morning by 7 a.m. They report to the cat sanctuary, where, like clockwork, the cats await them, dozens of tiny faces longing for the door to open.

The work, albeit behind prison walls, is a full-time job.

“I believe it’s changed me a lot,” LaRussa said. “I’ve grown, from even just the little time that I’ve been here until now. We’re all incarcerated. Whether you are selfish or not, you learn to care about something other than yourself. Now, it’s all about (the cats) and trying to help them in the best way possible.”

Tori Kypreos, the program supervisor at Pendleton, has watched inmates move through the program and evolve as a result.

“It teaches them responsibility,” Kypreos said. “It teaches them there are other things that are important than what they believe is important. The cats rely on them immensely, so just seeing that they’re dedicated to coming in every day to help and take care of these cats, to watch the cats grow, is very important.”

The cats and the inmates, both bound by prison walls and troubled pasts, mend each other day by day.

Duck suit!


Firmoo is an outfit that sells cat-themed spectacles, at least in their Me-Meow collection. (“Purr-fect for your eyes”). Here are a few models you may want to consider (only women are shown wearing them). Click the screenshot below to go to the site.

Some examples:

They sell only frames, and they’re inexpensive, so have a look.


From LoveMeow we have the story of a polydactylous kitten named Macaroni born with deformed legs as well as many extra toes (toes are not a burden), but don’t worry—he’ll be all right. Click on screenshot to read the story:

Jacqueline “DeAmor” Santiago, president of Friends for Life Rescue Network, was apprised of a tiny orange tabby with an abnormality in his front legs. With her experience working with special needs kittens, she immediately offered to help.

The kitten, Macaroni, was polydactyl and had contracted tendons which caused his front limbs to appear “twisted”. He came into Jacqueline’s care when he was four days old, giving him the best advantage.

Newborn kittens have “exponentially better” chances of correcting their twisted legs.

“This is often caused by either polydactylism (extra toes) or by a small mom with not enough room in the womb for the legs to stretch,” Jacqueline added. Macaroni has extra toes on each paw, adding to their size.

“Their legs get stuck in the same position during development and need to be stretched over the course of weeks to help them grow correctly.”

“This is often caused by either polydactylism (extra toes) or by a small mom with not enough room in the womb for the legs to stretch,” Jacqueline added. Macaroni has extra toes on each paw, adding to their size.

“Their legs get stuck in the same position during development and need to be stretched over the course of weeks to help them grow correctly.”

Jacqueline started physical therapy on Macaroni through massaging and stretching. The tiny ball of fur whose eyes hadn’t opened, took everything in stride.

He was a champion eater and so brave with every massage session and leg stretching exercise.

The tabby boy is getting more active and playful each day. He relishes the company of his foster mom and the resident cat, Wolfie. His personality is emerging.

“Mac is a big purr machine and loves to play already. He enjoys flailing his legs and trying to bite with his tiny teeth. He’s still ultra snuggly. We are hoping that once his paws are under him, he will start running around.”

In the weeks that follow, the sweet kitten will be able to put his legs to good use as he enters the boisterous kitten phase and navigates the world around him.

Here’s a video of a kitten in San Diego similar to Macaroni, with polydactyly and bent legs. (It was also missing an eye.) The improvement after treatment is astounding!  Reader Marion said, “Here’s a video the San Diego Humane Society released of their treatment of a polydactyl kitten with bent legs.  I imagine it will bring in a ton of money.”


Lagniappe:  Click below to see a video taken from a CatCam, worn around a cat’s neck. And put the sound on:

h/t: Ginger K., Marion

Caturday felid trifecta: Illustrations of famous cat photos; top ten cat jams by The Kiffness; cat-shaped music; and lagniappe

July 1, 2023 • 9:30 am

Here we have the drawings of Ainars, who takes real cat photos that are viral on the Internet and makes drawings of them. Click on the screenshot to see ’em all.

My name is Ainars and I’m the creator of @dailypurrr on Instagram.

More than three years ago, I figured out that I wanted to make silly cat doodles and do them every day. That’s how dailypurrr started. But before that, I had dozens of failed attempts to create something that would bring some fun to people around the internet.

This time, I decided that I would be silent until I’d made my first 50 cat drawings. When that happened, my friends and family got to know that I was secretly making low-quality cat doodles.

One month later, I was going to sleep and had about 500 followers on my Instagram page and was hoping that in three upcoming months, until the New Year, I would have my first 1000 followers. But… Life is full of surprises.

When I woke up, there were 1100 followers. I refreshed the page—1200, refreshed it once again—1300… I was shocked and decided to ask where all these people got to know about my page. It turned out that 9GAG made a post about my drawings.

That was a life-changing moment and my page got its first 10 or 20 thousand followers, which led to huge interest in my page.

So, I continued to make daily doodles, until one day I received a casual email with an offer to do an interview. Without any doubt, I answered that I was absolutely ready. That e-mail was from Rokas, who is a part of the Bored Panda team.

When this short interview and article came out, my follower count skyrocketed and after that, the whole internet was flooded with reposts of that interview, my drawings, and all the other materials.

Ainars social-media sites: More info: Instagram | Facebook |

Here’s a sample of six of his drawings. Remember: they’re modeled on real cats photos, which are shown:


There are 34 more at the site—go see!


The Kiffness is a musician (I don’t know his name) who takes various sounds and sets them to music. These include people singing, drill sergeants, cockatiels, and so on, but he’s most famous for his musical riffs on caterwauling. (The Kiffness’s YouTube channel is here.) He’s very inventive!

Here are the top ten Kiffness takes on caterwauling. I bet you’ve heard one or two of these:


Finally, we have a musical composition that happens to be shaped like a cat. But it’s also very nice music and only 33 seconds long. Have a listen:


Lagniappe: From Reddit via Peter, a cat on a matchbox, “ready for a scratch”, as it says on the label.

h/t: Ginger K., Avis

Caturday felid trifecta: Airport hires therapy cat to calm nervous travelers; lonely cat song; and which cats climb down trees head first; and lagniappe

June 24, 2023 • 9:45 am

If you find good cat-related items, send them along for future Caturdays. Thanks!

This is from the Independent (click to read); the cat’s entire name is “Duke Ellington Morris”.

From the article (and a a photo). At 14, though, he should be retired!

cat has been hired as the newest employee of a US airport to help calm nervous flyers.

Duke Ellington Morris, known as “Duke”, is the latest member of San Francisco International Airport’s “Wag Brigade”.

The appointment of the 14-year-old black and white cat was announced by the airport’s Twitter account, with the caption: “Purrlease welcome our newest Wag Brigade member, Duke Ellington Morris!”

Underneath, a professional snap of Duke wearing a tiny pilot’s hat and shirt collar was also shared.

The Wag Brigade programme was first launched by the California airport in 2013, with the aim of using animals to help sooth anxious travellers.

The Duke!


Initially the scheme was limited to dogs, but over time it has been expanded to include other specially trained animals including cats, rabbits, and even the “world’s first therapy pig”, LilLou.

Animals are selected for their temperament and behaviour, and must be certified by San Francisco’s SPCA and have completed its Animal Assisted Therapy (ATT) programme.

Before getting the call up to wear the special “Pet Me” vest at San Francisco airport, Duke was initially rescued by the SPCA from a feral cat colony in 2010 while he was still a kitten.

He was adopted by a five-year-old girl and her mother, who had him certified as a therapy animal.

On his Instagram account, run by his owners, Duke’s latest appointment was announced with a post reading: “Happy is not the word… elated!”

Here’s Duke’s Instagram page and a photo of him with his staff. The caption for this one, apparently from the cat: “I picked her out as my guardian on November 1, 2010, when she was a sassy 5 year old. Best decision of my life.”  Clearly this was written by Duke:


Here’s a great Kiffness video of a cat meowing, almost in English, about its loneliness. A musician turns it into a plaintive song: “Sometimes I’m alone.”

Here’s the original video (click below or here to go to the plaintive cat).


In this article from Explore Cats, we get the answer to the question all ailurophiles have asked: “Can any species of cat climb down a tree head first?”  We know that a treed cat has to climb down backwards because its recurved claws will only give it a grasp when it’s facing forwards (see this article for more explanation). But is that true of all cats species?

The answer is no, and click on the screenshot below to see why:

The way to do it is to evolve the ability to rotate your ankles 180°, so you can walk down head first with your paws backwards. By “rotating 180 degrees,” they mean upside-down, as if you were able to walk on the tops of your feet.

From the article:

. . .certain wild cats have the hypermobility needed. Three wild cats are known to be able to rotate their rear ankles 180 degrees.

These arboreal cats have adapted to a life that is spent significantly in trees. Hypermobility provides these cats with the ability to move swiftly up and down trees.

The ability to rotate their ankles 180 degrees also gives these three species of felines the ability to climb down trees by holding on with their hind legs only as well as the ability to hang from tree limbs with just one rear paw.

Three known species of wild cats are known to have evolved hypermobility: Margery, clouded leopards, and marbled cats.

The Margay

The margay (Leopardus Wiedii) is considered by many researchers to be the most adapted to life in the trees. The margay is a small spotted cat that is native to Central and South America. Smaller than a house cat, the margay only weights 2.6 to 4 kg (5.7 to 8.8 lb).

Margays are found mostly in dense forests that range from tropical evergreen forest to tropical dry forest and high cloud forest.  The wild cat’s range once extended as far north at Texas but is now distributed from Mexico through Central America to Brazil and Paraguay.

In addition to ankles that are able to rotate 180 degrees, margay cats have large paw pads that help them to grip tree bark. Nocturnal cats, the agility of margays helps them to hunt small primates and squirrels as well as amphibians, reptiles, birds and eggs.

A video:

And here’s Professor Ceiling Cat actually holding a margay, which was pretty tame and was resident of a bar in Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica. The photo is from August, 1974 when I was taking an Organization for Tropical Studies Course in Costa Rica, and it’s a photo of a 35mm slide. The cat bit my ring, and for years afterwards, until the Turkish puzzle ring fell apart, it had a dent from the margay’s tooth.

This is the only time in my life that I held a species of cat other than a housecat.

Marbled Cat.

The marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) is a small wild cat native with a distribution from eastern Himalayas to Southeast Asia. Like the margay cat, the marbled cat is also adapted to life in the trees and has the ability to rotate its ankles 180 degrees (Kitchener et al., 2010). This lets the marbled cat descend trees head first as well as hang on to a branch with one hind leg only.

The marbled cat lives in forest up to 2,500 m (8,200 ft) altitude. Similar in size to a domestic cat, the marbled cat weighs between 2 and 5 kg (4.4 and 11.0 lb).

This is a short video as the cat is elusive:


Finally, the clouded leopard, perhaps the most beautiful of cats:

These arboreal cats (Neofelis nebulosa) live in dense forests from the foothills of the Himalayas through mainland Southeast Asia into southern China.

The largest of the wild cats with hypermobility, clouded leopards weigh between 11.5 and 23 kg (25 and 51 lb).

Notice the rotated ankles in this tweet:

I found this video:


Lagniappe from reader Divy: Her master Jango approves of the paper by Luana and me:


h/t: Su, Ginger K., Debra

Caturday felids trifecta: Famous cats; how to make your cat love you; NYRB reviews several cat books

June 17, 2023 • 9:45 am

I am running low on cat-related items for future Caturday felids. If you come across an interesting cat-related piece, please send it my way.

Did you know that Wikipedia has a list of famous and notable cats? Yes it does, with lots of them! Click below to go down the rabbit hole, for many of the cats have their own entries.

Here’s just an excerpt (click on links to see cats). Oscar the hospice cat is the one that freaks me out the most.  He would lie down beside terminally ill patients right before they were out to die. In fact, as the article says,

Joan Teno, a physician at Steere House, clarified that “it’s not that the cat is consistently there first. But the cat always does manage to make an appearance, and it always seems to be in the last two hours.”[9]

After Oscar accurately predicted 25 deaths, staff started calling family members of residents as soon as they discovered him sleeping next to a patient in order to notify them and give them an opportunity to say goodbye before the impending death.  

He accurately predicted 100 out of 100 deaths, and nobody knows how he did it!  (Some say it was confirmation bias, but read this article in the New England Journal of Medicine. If you can’t get it, ask me.) This is one case in which I’ll suspend skepticism. Here’s Oscar, the Cat of Death.

  • Beerbohm, a cat that resided at the Gielgud Theatre in London.
  • Blackie the Talking Cat, a “talking” cat who was exhibited (for donations) by an unemployed couple on the streets of Augusta, Georgia. Blackie became the subject of a court case, Miles v. City Council of Augusta.
  • Blue, a Siamese cat taken “hostage” in Gresham, Oregon in a grocery store in the United States in 1994.
  • Browser, a Texas library cat.
  • CC (Copy Cat, or Carbon Cat), the first cloned cat.
  • Chase No Face, a cat who lost her face in an accident, was a therapy cat for people with disfigurements.[55]
  • Crimean Tom, a cat that helped British Army troops find food after the Siege of Sevastopol
  • Dusty the Klepto Kitty (US), notorious for being an expert night cat burglar.[56]
  • Emily, an American cat who, after being lost, was found to have gone to France.[57]
  • Faith, a London cat that took up residence in St Faith & St Augustine’s church (by St Paul’s Cathedral) in wartime, and received a PDSA Silver Medal for her bravery in caring for her kitten when the church was bombed.[58]
  • Fred the Undercover Kitty, a cat famous for assisting the NYPD and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in 2006.
  • Jack, a cat who was lost by American Airlines baggage handlers at John F Kennedy airport before Hurricane Irene.[59] He was found later but was severely dehydrated and malnourished after his 61-day ordeal[60] and was euthanized.[61]
  • Lewis, a cat who became infamous after being placed under house arrest.
  • Little Nicky, the first animal cloned for commercial reasons.
  • Marzipan (c.1992–2013), a calico cat who lived in the lobby of Astor Theatre in Melbourne, Australia. She was the theatre’s unofficial mascot and was often seen sitting on the couches, waiting for the patrons to pat her as they left the cinema. She was also known to stroll in the cinema and watch the movies, or simply wander down the aisle and sit on patrons’ laps.[62] She had her own Facebook fan page.[63]
  • Mike (1908 – January 1929), a cat who guarded the entrance to the British Museum.
  • Mittens (~2009–present), a ginger Turkish Angora who wanders Wellington, New Zealand, and has a Facebook-based fanbase who regularly posts photos of him climbing into rental cars, entering businesses, and napping in unusual places.
  • Nora, a gray tabby cat who plays the piano alongside her owner.
  • Oscar, a cat fitted with bionic hind legs following an accident in 2009.
  • Oscar the hospice cat, written up in the New England Journal of Medicine for his uncanny ability to predict which patients will die by curling up to sleep with them hours before their death. To date he has been right 100+ times.[64][65]


You probably already know what you’re supposed to do to communicate with your cat. Guess first!

From ScienceAlert; click on screenshot:

An excerpt:

Never fear – research from 2020 has shown that it’s not so difficult. You just need to smile at them more. Not the human way, by baring your teeth, but the cat way, by narrowing your eyes and blinking slowly.

By observing cat-human interactions, scientists confirmed that this expression makes cats – both familiar and strange – approach and be more receptive to humans.

“As someone who has both studied animal behavior and is a cat owner, it’s great to be able to show that cats and humans can communicate in this way,” Karen McComb, a University of Sussex psychologist, said in a 2020 statement.

“It’s something that many cat owners had already suspected, so it’s exciting to have found evidence for it.”

Here’s a demonstration:


Anecdotal evidence from cat owners has hinted that humans can copy this expression to communicate to cats that we are friendly and open to interaction. So, a team of psychologists designed two experiments to determine whether cats behaved differently towards slow–blinking humans.

In the first experiment, owners slow-blinked at 21 cats from 14 different households. Once the cat was settled and comfy in one spot in their home environment, the owners were instructed to sit about 1 meter away and slow-blink when the cat was looking at them. Cameras recorded both the owner’s and the cat’s faces, and the results were compared to how cats blink with no human interaction.

The results showed that cats are more likely to slow-blink at their humans after their humans have slow–blinked at them, compared to the no–interaction condition.

The second experiment included 24 cats from eight different households. This time, it wasn’t the owners doing the blinking but the researchers, who’d had no prior contact with the cat. For a control, the cats were recorded responding to a no–blink condition, in which humans stared at the cats without blinking their eyes.

The researchers performed the same slow–blink process as the first experiment, adding an extended hand toward the cat. And they found that not only were the cats more likely to blink back, but they were also more likely to approach the human’s hand after the human blinked.

“This study is the first to experimentally investigate the role of slow blinking in cat-human communication,” McComb said.


The New York Review of Books has a cat issue with a review of five books on cats by Gregory Hays, an associate professor of classics at the University of Virginia.  If you click on the second screenshot, you can read his article for free!

I’ve put the five books below with their Amazon links.

John Gray’s book has gotten good reviews in other places, too. Here’s from Hays’s bit about it:

Cats aren’t preoccupied with being good, only with being cats. They are incapable of empathy, altruism, pity, or kindness, and likewise incapable of cruelty or sadism. They are beyond good and evil. Cats don’t know that they will die, though they may sense the approach of death when it comes. They do not search for meaning in their lives.

Cats refute continuously the claim that the unexamined life is not worth living, by living it. They are both Stoics and Epicureans: they live in accordance with nature and they seek to maximize pleasure. But they do this without reading treatises or attending lectures. Nor do they share the defensive outlook and rejection of the world common to both schools. That cats have no use for philosophy is an indictment, for Gray, not of cats, but of philosophy: “Posing as a cure, philosophy is a symptom of the disorder it pretends to remedy.”

If cats have the answer—that there is no answer, for there is no question—it follows that the best philosophers will be the most catlike. A cautionary example here is Pascal, who lived an anxious life trying to overcome his dread of death through faith and reason. Not a cat person, Pascal. Gray’s sympathies lie rather with Montaigne and Samuel Johnson, who recognize the futility of human striving and urge us to take life as it comes. Not surprisingly, both were cat owners.

Soden’s book is a fictional biography of Jeoffrey, the cat celebrated by Christopher Smart as his companion in the lunatic asylum. Smart’s poem (a fragment of Jubilate Agno) is my favorite bit of literature about cats, and you can read it here.  All cat lovers need to know this relatively short fragment of poetry that, to me, best sums up how humans see cat-ness.

Hays says this:

Unsurprisingly, the years with Smart are the heart of the book. The asylum period is an imprisonment for Jeoffry too. Used to the sounds and smells of London, he is now confined by a wire-topped wall to Smart’s room and tiny garden. We watch with him as Smart is force-fed his “medicine” and herded out naked into the rain with other patients, in lieu of bathing. Soden movingly imagines Smart’s mental illness as experienced by Jeoffry:

To Jeoffry, the man smelled of fear…. Around Smart stretched something that was not there, but which Jeoffry could see all the same: an absence of light, like a silk blanket that was not black but blank, that was not dark but vacuous, empty of meaning, devoid of sense…. On some days the blanket and its jabs sent Smart mad, and on other days it sent him still, and sometimes Jeoffry could see that it wasn’t there at all. Jeoffry knew it for what it was, but what it was he could not say.

Whether this catches a cat’s experience, who can know? But at least it takes seriously the gulf between cats and ourselves.


h/t: cesar

Caturday felid trifecta: Non-surgical birth control in cats; cocktail named for a Disney cat; AI-enhanced art cats in Vienna; and lagniappe

June 10, 2023 • 9:15 am

Here’s an announcement from Harvard News that has big implications for cats. Click on the screenshot to read:

An excerpt:

For the first time, researchers have isolated a hormone that can prevent cats from getting pregnant.

A single dose of a viral vector containing anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), a naturally occurring hormone, prevented ovulation and conception in female cats for at least two years, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and their collaborators.

. . . .In 2017, Pépin and his collaborators were the first to publish the contraceptive potential of AMH in rodents.

The team then turned their attention to felines. To raise AMH levels in female domestic cats, the researchers created an adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy vector with a slightly altered version of the feline AMH gene. Human therapies using similar AAV vectors to deliver various therapeutic genes have proven to be safe and effective and have been approved by the FDA.

“A single injection of the gene therapy vector causes the cat’s muscles to produce AMH, which is normally only produced in the ovaries, and raises the overall level of AMH about 100 times higher than normal,” says Pépin.

The researchers treated six female cats with the gene therapy at two different doses, and three cats served as controls. A male cat was brought into the female colony for two four-month-long mating trials. The researchers followed the female cats for more than two years, assessing the effect of the treatment on reproductive hormones, ovarian cycles, and fertility.

All the control cats produced kittens, but none of the cats treated with the gene therapy got pregnant. Suppressing ovarian follicle development and ovulation did not affect important hormones such as estrogen. There were no adverse effects observed in any of the treated female cats, demonstrating that at the doses tested, the gene therapy was safe and well tolerated.

As the article notes, this therapy isn’t yet ready for prime time, but will be useful not only for keeping your own cat kitten-free without surgical intervention, but perhaps also to prevent wild cats from breeding, though every female will have to get a shot every two years. That means they’ll have to keep track of the immunization schedule of wild cats.

I expect that this may be on offer to the public within a few years.


In May, Nutmeg, one of the beloved feral cats who frequented Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim California, passed away. As the Disneyland website notes:

Nutmeg was one of Disneyland Resort’s feral cats, tasked with keeping the rat population down around the parks and ensuring the only rodents guests see are Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Nutmeg roamed the park quite often, but had an affinity for the Magic Key Terrace lounge at Disney California Adventure.

Nutmeg was so beloved by Imagineers and Disneyland Cast Members like in fact, that they were even integrated into the tiling when Magic Key Terrace was reimagined in 2021. Their frequent perch along the concrete wall is accented with tiling of them, front and center.

A photo of Nutmeg (a good name for a cat) on the wall:


Hardcore Disneyland fans may know that feral cats have become a staple of the resort’s after-hours operations. The cats are reportedly well cared for, with Disney providing stations for feeding, medical care, and neutering services. But this cat in particular was so beloved by Cast Members at Magic Key Terrace that there was a drink named for Nutmeg — made with Myers dark rum, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, and apricot liqueur and selling for $16 as a “secret menu” drink.

In 2021, the culinary director of Disney California Adventure, Jeremiah Balogh, explained to the Orange County Register, “We have lots of friends that like to visit us, and some of them are four-legged friends. We have a resident cat that will come and visit guests and Cast Members whenever he or she feels lonely.”

Many of these cats stay hidden throughout the day, although guests occasionally spot them out and about during opening time. It’s the overnight shift when they’re on the prowl, keeping the non-animated mice and rats out of the Disneyland Resort parks.

And here’s an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Nutmeg drink (click on the screenshot to read):

An excerpt:

“Everyone who knows the @Disneyland cats is mourning the death of Nutmeg, a true celebrity amongst the beloved feral cats of @Disney,” tweeted cat behaviorist and YouTuber Jackson Galaxy. “We join everyone in mourning Nutmeg’s passing and give many thanks to Disney for elevating and embracing community cats!”

Nutmeg was so beloved by the staff of Magic Key Terrace that it created a cocktail in his (or her?) honor: a $16 concoction on the “secret menu” featuring dark rum, Irish cream, hazelnut liqueur and apricot liqueur. Another version, described by one blogger as “definitely a dessert drink,” is said to include half-and-half, raspberry flavoring and a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg.

That’s definitely a dessert, not a drink!  More:

Sometimes called “queen of the Disneyland cats,” Nutmeg inspired part of the aesthetic at Magic Key Terrace, according to SFGate reporter Julie Tremaine, who has written about the famed Disney felines several times over the years. A portrait of Nutmeg adorns the wall, and the feline’s face decorates the mosaics.

. . .Disney eventually realized that this arrangement was mutually beneficial: The company could care for the cats and get rodent control in exchange. Staffers began to spay and neuter the felines to keep the population under control, and they established feeding stations throughout the parks, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2010.

Now, as many as 200 cats patrol the area with Disney’s blessing.

“We are not trying to get rid of them,” Gina Mayberry, manager of the ranch where the park’s animals are housed, told the Times. “They keep the rodent population down.”

Among the cats’ fans is actor Ryan Gosling, who was once a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel’s “The Mickey Mouse Club.” In a 2011 interview with comedian Conan O’Brien, Gosling said lore has it that the felines are “like commando cats” and live in barracks on the outskirts of the park.

Here’s the cocktail, which is a secret menu item (I can’t find the recipe, but that’s just as well. . .):

From reddit, labeled “A glamour shot of Nutmeg from when she popped in to say hello at Magic Key Terrace in February”:

From Cole and Marmalade, Walt admonishing a cat to stay away from Mickey:

“Walt Disney with cat”, Harris & Ewing, photographer, Public domain


Vienna is attracting visitors by using AI to dilute its famous artwork, which needs no dilution. Still, they put cats in it. Click below to read:

In an effort to inspire the next generation of travelers to visit Austria’s beguiling cultural capital, the Vienna Tourist Board has launched a cheeky new marketing campaign called UnArtificial Art and is asking viewers to dig a bit deeper and rediscover some of the city’s most iconic masterpieces. Using artificial intelligence (AI), some of the country’s most celebrated pieces of art have been re-created to include the internet’s beloved domestic pet—cats—in an effort to remind viewers to have a little fun, while also taking a moment to see and appreciate the “art behind the art.”

“The campaign aims to show that AI art is only possible because an algorithm references real works made by real humans, and these originals can often only be seen in Vienna,” Norbert Kettner, CEO of the Vienna Tourist Board, told ARTnews.

First a movie, than some augmented art:

In the short film that accompanies the UnArtificial Art campaign, art historian Markus Hübl takes viewers on an existential journey through some of Vienna’s most iconic masterpieces—including Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss and Pieter Bruegel’s The Tower of Babel—all of which have been enhanced using AI technology to encourage viewers to look deeper into the work of some of Austria’s most celebrated painters.

There are three cat-augmented paintings, and they’re good choices.

Here’s one of the paintings, the original created by Egon Schiele, one of my favorite artists, who died at only 28 in the 1918 influenza epidemic.

And, of course, “The Kiss,” by Gustav Klimt, a well known ailurophile.  Klimt died, aged 55, nine months before Schiele, also of the flu. What a loss for art!

It’s unclear how Klimt—who was famously known for surrounding himself with anywhere from eight to ten pet cats at any given time—would feel about the enhancements to one of his most illustrious and frequently reproduced paintings. But the campaign, which encourages travelers to “see the art behind AI art,” will surely open itself up to interpretation by all who bear witness.

Gustav Klimt with a cat in front of his studio in the Josefstädter Straße (Vienna). Photographed by Moriz Nähr around 1910.


Lagniappe: Linda Calhoun, who recently lost one of her older cats, has topped up her supply with two new kittens. She now has eight, four of them black, but the new ones are orange. Her description:

New arrivals!! They have been here a week.  They will live in the barn with Ebony and Bailey.  Barney died last February, and his remaining sisters are 13 years old, so it was time for some new blood.

Orangina (“Gina”) is on the left, and Orange Crush (“Crush”) on the right.  They are nine weeks old.

h/t: Barry, Winnie, Greg, Ginger K.