Frivolous Friday – No Wonder You Can’t Catch Your Elusive Cat

Did you know that an ordinary house cat can run at a top speed of 30 miles per hour? Not all cats, of course, but the fastest speed recorded for a house cat is around 30 miles per hour. But cats do not have much endurance. According to experts, they need a nap (or at least a breather) after only a few seconds. One minute seems to be the limit for most speedy cats.

Which breeds can run the fastest? Not surprisingly, that would be the manx, Siamese, Abyssinian and some of the exotics, such as the Savannah and Bengal.

Can a dog outrun a cat? Sure some can—the greyhound, for example. But certainly not a bull dog.

You’re probably not surprised to know that the fastest animal alive is the Cheetah who have been clocked at 75 mph. Can you imagine being passed on the freeway by a Cheetah?

So the next time your cat escapes and you want to catch up to him, he may get away from you, but remember he can only maintain his speed for a short period of time. Of course then he can climb, hide, jump up on top of things out of reach, probably out maneuver you with their agile moves. It’s no use. A cat who does not want to be caught is a cat who gets to roam free.

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Thoughts for Thursday – How Smart is a Cat, Anyway?

Here we go again with the “my cat’s smarter than your dog (or hamster or chicken or monkey)” controversy. Actually experts have taken the time and used some of their expertise to study this issue and cat lovers might enjoy reading some of the results.

The fact is that some cats are pretty smart. They can learn to open cabinets and doors, turn of lights, use the toilet, ring the doorbell and play fetch. One cat in one study designed to teach cats to move cardboard boxes around,  even used one of those boxes to create a stool so he could reach a tidbit of food. Yes, according to studies, cats can learn and they can figure things out.

In one study, cats were found to have greater recall by far than dogs, even monkeys. Cats, for example, when having been shown where the treats were, remembered this for 16, whereas the dogs’ recall lasted for a mere five minutes.

Some even say a cat has the intelligence of a two- or three-year-old child.

So which cat breeds are the most intelligent? According to some studies, it’s the Siamese, European Burmese, Burmese, Abyssinian, Cornish Rex, Singapura, Turkish Van, Bengal, Scottish Fold, Tonkinese, and your cat, of course. Here’s a link that explains why.

http://lifeinthegoldenyears.com/10-most-intelligent-cat-breeds/?utm_source=cats&utm_medium=intelligentcats&utm_campaign=bing

I like this site as it describes details of some of the studies and results related to determining the intelligence of a cat. http://catsinternational.org/the-intelligent-cat/

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats of a Different Color

It’s always a crapshoot when you decide to bring a new cat or kitten into the household. You wonder if this cat will get along with the resident cat(s) because not all cats will create a harmonious bond. Generally, it’s recommended that you separate the new cat from the current cats so they won’t tangle. You want them to get to know one another gradually, through their scent from under a door, for example. Once the cats are brought together, it should be with supervision. And only when they’re both accepting, should you leave them alone together.

Some cats never establish a harmonious relationship. One might bully the other and sometimes their aggression is dangerous. But generally, the two cats find a way to get along either by ignoring each other or interacting like devoted siblings would.

In our household, Lily and Sophie are cordial. They seem to like each other, but they don’t dote on one another. And they occasionally have a minor standoff—probably just for fun.

I’ll never forget the time I brought little Katy (a sweet Himalayan kitten) home to meet Daisy (an almost year-old calico). Katy so wanted to be friends and Daisy didn’t want anything to do with the cute little intruder. As I wrote in my book of true cat tales, Catscapades, Daisy reduced Katy to dust-ball status. Katy hid under furniture for much of her first week at home. When I wanted to spend time with the kitten, I had to drag her out from under the bed or a side table.

One night Katy had the courage to join Daisy and me on the bed, only Daisy was not happy. She growled at Katy, but this time Katy growled back. I was glad to see she was getting a backbone—good for Katy. The two kittens slapped at each other a few times and growled even more loudly. I needed my sleep, so I attempted a technique I’d used a time or two. I imagined each kitten enveloped in pink light (depicting love). I visualized the light going from one kitten to the other and back again. After just a few minutes, they both settled down and went to sleep, each on one side of my legs.

The next morning, when I awoke and found them gone, I felt a sense of panic. Where were they? Was Daisy picking on Katy again? I was extremely pleased to discover the little darlings in the kitchen eating kibbles from the same bowl. And those two turned out to be best-friend cats. They came to adore one another. Don’t you love a happy ending?

 

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Newsday Tuesday – Honoring the Cat

Have you heard about the cat that’s being honored at the Southwark Cathedral in London with a permanent statue in her likeness? Evidently the cat was rescued from the streets and adopted into the church during the 2008 Christmas season. They named her Doorkins Magnificat. They figure her to be about thirteen years old now and they want to preserve her memory once she passes. The statue is being created by students at a local art school and it will have a special place along one of the walls amidst human heroes and other honorees. Doorkins is the first animal to be honored in this way at the cathedral. Here’s the story.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/doorkins-magnificat-southwark-cathedral_us_5b6da87fe4b0bdd06208d115

We’ve talked about a lot of cat-related objects, businesses, and so forth here in this blog. There are enough cat-oriented places to visit throughout the world to keep a cat-lover busy for a lifetime. There are cat cafés, the cat train in Japan, cat hotels and spas, cat shows, a cat circus, cat-related shops, live shop cats in many businesses. But did you now there are also cat museums? The Cat Fancier’s Association runs the Feline Historical Museum in Alliance, OH. There’s also a more quaint home-grown museum in North Carolina called the American Museum of the House Cat. A group has been attempting to open a cat museum in San Francisco for quite a while, but evidently don’t have the funds together yet. In the meantime, there have been temporary traveling exhibits displayed throughout the area.

You might be interested to know that the International terminal at the San Francisco Airport has a display of caticons which will be on exhibit through April 21, 2019. These exhibits and activities should keep you busy, should you travel with cats in mind this fall.

 

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Mindful Monday – What Cats Bring From the Other Side

When we lose a cat it’s heartbreaking. Some of us decide never to have another cat again. Others can’t wait to bring home another one or two—not to replace her, but to fill their home and hearth with a new kind of kitty-cat energy. Have you ever felt as though the cat you brought home learned a few habits or mannerisms from your previous beloved cat? Or is it your imagination? Is it that you miss your kitty so much you only imagine that the new cat has some similar traits? A cat is a cat is a cat, after all.

I’m not convinced that’s the whole truth. Are you? I mean, sure cats have many things in common with each other. They all eat, take lick-baths, sleep a lot, play as if they’re in hunting mode, and so forth. They spend time staring at nothing in particular, some beg, some like to snuggle. But these things don’t speak to a cat’s personality.

When we brought ten-week-old Sophie home, she saw Winfield, our elderly white odd-eye cat from across the room and immediately ran to him and rubbed against him as if she recognized him. Was that because he was a cat and she was happy to see another cat? Did he remind her of a cat she once knew? Or…did she remember him when she lived here in a different cat body? Are you freaked out, yet?

We adopted Lily when she was a mere six-weeks-old. We were told she was eight-weeks. We’d lost Winfield by then and my beloved Himalayan, Katy. She brought back their memory in a couple of different ways. Winfield loved water. He drank a lot and he liked playing in his water fountain. Lily does too. Katy stuck to me like glue, especially in her last few years. Lily wouldn’t let me out of her sight and for her first several months, she’d even sleep on my feet when I worked at the computer. Winfield went crazy for cantaloupe. So did Lily, but a lot of cats do.

So the question is, do cats reincarnate and return to us? Does a kitten destined to be mine communicate with one that I’ve lost while they’re on the other side? Is there some sort of telepathy transmitted to a new cat from me or from a cat who has passed? Or do I have an active imagination?

I don’t know about you, but I adore the similarities that remind me of cats I’ve loved. But I find it refreshing and lovely to discover the unique things a new cat brings into my life.

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Frivolous Friday – Your Cats’ Favorite Toy

Does your cat have a favorite toy? What’s her favored way of playing with it? I find that even cats raised together can have very different ways of playing and expressing their joy and their silly-self.

Lily, as many of you know, loves small stuffed toys. She has quite a collection of stuffed animals, including a baby possum, owl, lamb, eagle, kitty, moose, bunny, bears, and her newest, a baby otter. But she doesn’t play with them. She captures them from her toy basket and brings them to me one at a time, until I’m surrounded by an army of little critters. With each delivery, I get a “Prrrrt!” I’m not sure if that means, “I love you, Mommy,” “Here, take care of my kids,” or “I’ve told you a million times I don’t want these things in my toy basket!”

Sophie loves toy mice with tails. She tosses them into the air and pounces on them. She’s at her most delighted when she’s playing with a tiny toy mouse.

Max used to meet me at the door when I returned from the grocery store, eager to see what I brought him. Boy did I have him spoiled. Usually, I’d unpack a new mouse for him—I had to keep buying new ones because as soon as I’d hand him one, he’d chew the ears and tail off. Then he’d rip the little pompom nose off the mouse and play with the pompom for hours. I think he purposely pushed it under the refrigerator about a dozen times a day. He’d let me know where he’d hidden it by his kitty dance and I’d get a flashlight and dig it out with a yardstick. All the while, Max would lie next to me on the floor, cheek-to-cheek, eagerly waiting for the little red pompom to appear.

Smokey, my model for Rags, likes his hanging toy better than any of the toys in his basket. He’ll often pull his basket from the shelf and dump it. Sniff around for a moment, then walk away and spend several minutes batting at a toy that hangs from a doorjamb. That toy has to be replaced fairly often because his brand of playing means shredding it so it’s unrecognizable.

And then there are non-toys that cats seem to see as toys—like shoe laces. Do you get help when trying to tie your shoes? And the cords on blinds. Now, you know those can pose a serious danger to a kitten, right? Always tie cords up out of the way of a kitten because they can become entangled in the cords and hang themselves. We learned the hard way that some cats like to chew the cords off. Sophie ruined a few pair of blinds in our house when she was small. Thankfully she outgrew that habit.

What are some of your cat’s favorite toys? Have they ever claimed something of yours? In our house, Lily has taken a few things out of the grandchildren’s toy box for herself. And she took some of my own small stuffed bears. I think that’s what started her large stuffed animal collection, which now numbers around twenty.

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Thoughts for Thursday – Five-Star Reviews for Meowmoirs

Until a couple of days ago, all of the Amazon reviews for Klepto Cat Book 29, Meowmoirs of a Klepto Cat, were five-star reviews—all 14 of them. Today I noticed a new review. While the reader says it was GREAT, she gave it only four stars. But that’s okay. Sometimes authors learn more from the less positive reviews than the rave reviews. And believe me I listen. However, I can’t say that four stars means anything other than this reader loved the book, only not as much as, perhaps, another book she read from the series or another author’s series.

Oh, I don’t pay any attention to those mean-spirited reviews an author sometimes gets or a silly criticism about the way a character wears her hair. But when I get legitimate critique, I listen and I sometimes make changes. That’s as it should be.

Have you read the Meowmoirs? It’s an overview of the Klepto Cat Mysteries for someone who hasn’t delved into them yet, but staunch fans of Rags also enjoy reading it and reminiscing about some of his antics and adventures. Maybe you haven’t even read Catnapped (the first book in the series). Catnapped has a solid 4-star rating at Amazon with 247 reviews. Seventy-three percent were 4- and 5-star reviews.

If you haven’t taken time to read one of the Klepto Cat Mysteries, I invite you to do so. I think you’ll enjoy getting to know Rags and his human and furry friends and family. http://KleptoCatMysteries.com

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Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Cats of a Different Color

It’s always a crapshoot when you decide to bring a new cat or kitten into the household. You wonder if this cat will get along with the resident cat(s) because not all cats will create a harmonious bond. Generally, it’s recommended that you separate the new cat from the resident cats so they won’t tangle. You want them to get to know one another gradually, through their scent from under a door, for example. Once the cats are brought together, it should be with supervision. And only when they’re both accepting, should you leave them alone together.

Some cats never establish a harmonious relationship. One might bully the other and sometimes their aggression is dangerous. But generally, the two cats find a way to get along either by ignoring each other or interacting like devoted siblings would. In our household, Lily and Sophie are cordial. They seem to like each other, but they don’t dote on one another. And they occasionally have a minor standoff—probably just for fun.

I’ll never forget the time I brought little Katy (a sweet Himalayan kitten) home to meet Daisy (an almost year-old calico). Katy so wanted to be friends and Daisy didn’t want anything to do with the cute little intruder. As I wrote in my book of true cat tales, Catscapades, Daisy reduced Katy to dust-ball status. Katy hid under furniture for much of her first week at home. When I wanted to spend time with the kitten, I had to drag her out from under the bed or a side table.

Max and baby Lily

One night Katy had the courage to join Daisy and me on the bed, only Daisy was not happy. She growled at Katy, but this time Katy growled back. I was glad to see she was getting a backbone—good for Katy. The two kittens slapped at each other a few times and growled even more loudly. I needed my sleep, so I attempted a technique I’d used a time or two. I imagined each kitten enveloped in pink light (depicting love). I visualized the light going from one kitten to the other and back again. After just a few minutes, they both settled down and went to sleep, each on one side of my legs.

The next morning, when I awoke and found them gone, I felt a sense of panic. Where were they? Was Daisy picking on Katy again? I was very pleased to discover the little darlings in the kitchen eating kibbles from the same bowl. And those two turned out to be best-friend cats. They came to adore one another. Don’t you love a happy ending?

 

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Newsday Tuesday – Cats Who Give Back

We’ve all read sweet stories of cats helping other cats and even dogs protecting and nurturing kittens and cats. I saw a story this week about a dog who plays referee between two cats who can’t seem to get along with each other. Those cats are not going to hurt each other on his watch. Cats have been known to help other cats in a variety of ways. I once witnessed a life-saving gesture between cats when our sweet Himalayan-type cat, Maggie, adopted an unwanted kitten.

Maggie was already nursing her beautiful, plump litter of three colorful kittens when my daughter showed up with the scrawniest, nondescript (bordering on ugly) kitten I’d ever seen. No! The tiny dull-grey kitten was not a pretty sight. My daughter found the three-week-old kitten all alone in an orchard while jogging. We thought maybe she’d been snatched by a hawk or an owl and, for some reason, dropped far away from her mom and siblings. My daughter wondered if Maggie would feed the little thing and keep her warm.

I’d heard of nursing mother cats accepting unrelated kittens, but I’d never seen it and I wasn’t sure how to approach the possibilities—blindfold Maggie? Put Vaseline on her nose so she wouldn’t smell the strange intruder? We ended up just placing the kitten with Maggie and hoping for the best. Thankfully, the best is what happened.

The tiny being eagerly nursed and Maggie immediately accepted her. It was beautiful to see. The little one, I think we called her GrayGirl or something like that, well she thrived, but certainly not to the degree that her step-siblings did. Talk about the ugly step-sister… Even when she reached what should have been the cute kitten stage, GrayGirl was still homely. But she was as sweet as could be, she was healthy, and, when she was old enough, she won the heart of a friend and was given a forever home. Don’t you love a happy kitty-cat ending?

Max and baby Lily

We’ve read about cats who adopt kittens and become sort of surrogate grandparents for an abandoned litter, for example. And there are stories of cats that have saved other cats from harm. But some cats go above and beyond for their fellow cats.

Do you have a cat who has given back in some way? Ever thought of offering your cat as a blood donor for other cats who need a transfusion? There are cats who do this. Here’s an article about such cats. It explains the process of cats giving blood: https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/blood-donor-cats There are also kidney donors. Yes, veterinarians can do kidney transplants on cats who were, perhaps, born with kidney disease or who nibbled on a seriously poisonous plant or substance and their kidneys failed. Learn more here: https://www.veterinarybytes.com/feline-kidney-donors/

My favorite cat rescue story features a grumpy, nasty-tempered, older male cat who landed in a shelter. He was not happy until a litter of abandoned kittens showed up. As I recall, when the kittens walked closer to the ornery male, volunteers rushed to their rescue. They didn’t trust him around these vulnerable kittens. As it turned out, he began to nurture them. He let them crawl all over him and even seemed to enjoy it. In that moment, everything changed for this misfit male. He became the shelters surrogate grandfather to homeless kittens. Sorry, I couldn’t find a link to that beautiful story. Maybe you know the one I’m talking about.

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Mindful Monday – It’s Getting Dark Out: Do You Know Where Your Cat is?

How often have you wondered where your cat goes and what she does all day when she’s out of your sight? I think we’ve all had indoor-outdoor cats and some of us still do—my mother, for example. Her cat, Smokey, is my inspiration for Rags, the star of my Klepto Cat Mysteries. He’s an interesting fellow—loves being out-of-doors. Mama envisioned Smokey growing up to be a total inside cat, but he had his own ideas. He loves to roam the neighborhood. He equally adores lap time and just lounging in the middle of the room when there are visitors sitting around. I’m convinced that he thinks we’re all there just to admire him.

A major topic of discussion where Smokey’s concerned is where does he go when he disappears during the day. When he doesn’t respond to my mother’s soprano trill of “Here, kitty-kitty-kitty,” where is he? Does he hide just out of sight and purposely refuse to obey or is he far, far away exploring? Some cats lead a double life. They might have a second adoring human who dishes out treats, petting, and even food. My mother actually fed such a cat for several years. Gibbs showed up day after day for a handout and Mama obliged.

Do you wonder where your cat spends her days? You might be surprised to learn that keeping tabs on your cat is as easy now as looking at your iPhone. Here’s an article you might find interesting. https://www.forbes.com/sites/annatobin/2018/09/07/cats-are-losing-their-secret-private-lives-to-this-tech/#18f9f61119a3

Yes, there are tracking devices designed for cats. They’re easy to use and not all that expensive. During my research, I located cat-tracking devices for anywhere from $3.99 to $150. There’s even one with an alarm that reminds the cat when it’s time to come home and eat. Say what? I wonder if that manufacturer has ever owned a cat. Well, in case you’re interested, here’s one of several sites that sell tracking devices for cats. https://pawtrack.com/

I wouldn’t be surprised if I start getting hate mail from your adventuring cats telling me to mind my own business and let them roam in peace.

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