March 2011

Shulamith: The American Curl cat breed

New American cat breed

For unusual cat breeds that are rapidly gaining popularity, consider the American Curl. An extremely new breed, these cats are reputed to be sweet, intelligent, affectionate, and energetic with excellent dispositions, making them terrific companion animals even for people who think they don't like cats.

American Curls all descend genetically from a single initial ancestor: Shulamith, the mother of the American Curl breed. Shulamith was rescued and adopted as a stray kitten who simply showed up in the front yard of Joe and Grace Ruga at their California home, back in 1981.

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Ninja Kitty

Somehow, it's much harder to take an angry kitten seriously when he's standing on his head. This little guy really does seem to think he's got some serious cat-ninja mojo happening, here:

On the other hand, you have to admit, he's making it work for him; the larger cat wisely disengages after observing that kitten-ninja fighting pose, up close and personal.

The Battle of Feline Herpes

Often when I tell people my cat is sick, and they ask what is wrong, I get a laugh. The fact of the matter is feline herpes otherwise known as Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) is not funny at all. This disease has no cure. I love my little fluffy bundle of joy and hate to see him suffer at all when his virus is acting up. It can very costly and affects the upper respiratory system of the cat.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Sneezing
  • Ulcers in the eye area
  • Discharge in the eye and nose (this often means they can't smell and will lose their appetite)
  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Fever

DIY: Kitty Tower

Recently my husband built our cats their own play tower, completely cost-free for us (save for the time it took, which we don’t count, since he had fun making it). It was pretty simple to build, and he made it all out of scrap wood and scrap carpet. Here’s the breakdown of how to make one if you want to surprise your own cats with a tower.

Japan's Cat Island Survives, But Needs Help

The good news is that Cat Island survived the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in better shape than many parts of Japan. The bad news is that there was ample destruction, and worst of all, the island's supply lines have been severed.

Discovery News reported that relief organizations tried to bring supplies to Cat Island by boat, but had to turn back due to the amount of debris in the water. Cat Island les in the harbor off the city of Ishinomaki, which is one of the towns hardest hit by the tsunami.

At last report, volunteers were attempting to organize a military helicopter to airlift supplies to the island's elderly population, and hopefully cat food as well.

Patty-Cake: Feline style

hkbecky's video; feline translation by JustinCElliott

Patty-Cat, Patty-Cat
Bake a man!
Make him into sausage and fry him in a pan!

Slap your buddy, smack your buddy
Roll him on the floor!
Put it on YouTube!
Then we'll play some more!

"Whaddaya mean, 'That's not how it goes?' That's definitely how it goes. Who the heck taught you your nursery rhymes, anyways?"

Egyptian Mau: Cats beloved of Bastet

Felis sylvestris catus, the ancestor of all modern domestic cats, became vital in terms of protecting Egypt's grain stores early in Egypt's history. So important were these once wild animals, that they had their own deities to honor them. First, the goddess Mafdet, a lion-headed deity, was also associated with protection from and for the domestic cats; later Mafdet was supplanted by Bast or Bastet, who soon became assoicated not just with Egypt's cats, but with protection, fertility and motherhood. Cats, both in an effort to honor the goddess Bastet and to ensure that they too would join their people in the next life, were mummified with the same level of care as people, and placed in tombs.

Domestic Shorthair Cat: The House Cat

AKA: Moggie, alley cat, or common cat

Felis catus, also known as the domestic cat or housecat, is the most common variety of domestic cat in North America. This typically shorthaired feline should not be confused with either the American Shorthair or the British Shorthair; both these are registered breeds. The domestic shorthair can be found almost anywhere in the world, though local gene pools in particular geographies mean that over time and many generations, a particular body type and coloration will dominate the local Felis catus population in a particular area. The Domestic Shorthair cat is the typical "house cat," that is, a cat that has no specific breed.