Feline Fun Friday – What About the Grey Cat?

 Yes, they’re as ordinary as they seem—in color anyway. According to experts, grey is the most predominant cat color in North America. Now that’s a bit of trivia I didn’t know. And grey cats are not all mongrel cats. There are quite a few cat breeds that include grey or blue coat colors, including the korat, Russian blue, American shorthair, Norwegian forest cat, Maine coon cat. Scottish fold and others. With so many grey breeds, maybe that’s why there are so many mixed breed cats born grey.

There are many shades of grey—grey tabby, deep-dark grey, soft-light grey with silver tones and everything in between. Grey cats come in all sizes too—my mother had a large Maine coon-mix cat at one time. He had long, wild grey fur. His name was one of the most common names for a grey cat—Smokey. Her next cat was a sleek short-hair grey cat with white. She named him Smokey, too.

Here are some interesting names for grey cats: Silver, Charcoal, (Char), Dusty, Misty, Grayson, Shadow, Pearl, and Cinder (Cindy). I’ll bet just about everyone reading this knows or has known a grey cat.

 

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Paws Up For Wednesday – A Happy Ending for a Beloved Black Cat 

I love this story of a cat lost and found—lost for two months in Calgary after a camping trip with his family. As the story goes, Mom-Jody and her son took Gustophe camping and he slipped away from them. They hung around the camping area for four days looking for him, but to no avail. They had to get back home to work and school. They managed to get in touch with people in the area who decided to get involved. One woman put up cameras around the camp where Gustophe had wandered away from. Another woman had the family send clothes to leave at the site, hoping to entice Gustophe back. Something worked, as finally images of the fluffy black cat were spotted on the cameras.

Here’s the whole story and pictures of the beautiful wanderer.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/gustophe-the-cat-goes-home-1.6632175

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Meowy Monday – Halloween Cats

We see a lot of black cats associated with Halloween decorations—cats with pumpkins arching their back and appearing frightful, showing their teeth, and claws and we’ve heard of people harming cats this time of year.

So I’m going to remind us all to watch out for our own cats and those of others. Bring your cats in on Halloween so they are safe from dangers. It’s a busy night full of small goblins and maybe more cars up and down your street than usual. Cats can become frightened and confused and run away or find themselves injured.

For those of you with inside only cats, watch that they don’t slip out when the cute trick-or-treaters show up at the door. If you have a cat that rushes the door when the bell rings, maybe close her in another room for the duration of the trick-or-treating activity.

Keep your cat out of the candy. Whether you are simply handing out candy to neighboring children or your own children bring it in, make sure your cat stays out of it. Chocolate, for example, is toxic to cats. Some sugars in candy are unsafe for pets, and don’t let them ingest raisins. I had a cat that loved raisins. I found out later that I was putting her in danger by letting her have them. Now I don’t give my cats anything that isn’t strictly labeled “for cats” and I don’t bring a plant or flowers into my house without checking to see if it’s toxic to cats.

Think ahead and do what you can to keep your cat and other cats in your neighborhood safe this Halloween night.

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Feline Fun Friday – National Cat Day – October 29

Lifestyle writer Colleen Paige has taken credit for establishing National Cat Day in 2005. Her stated mission: “To help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.”

What will you do to honor cats this year? There are oh, so many ways starting with giving your cat a special treat—a luxurious massage, more time on your lap, her favorite meal, a new toy.

You might take a lonely friend to a shelter and encourage him or her to adopt a homeless cat. Donate to a shelter—either cat food your cat won’t eat, toys, beds, blankets, or cash.

Volunteer at a shelter. There’s always work to be done and cats to socialize.

Write a blog post or facebook post on some aspect of cats or a story about your cat.

There are so many people now rescuing and caring for cats, but there is so much more that you can do. Here’s a huge one: If you haven’t spayed or neutered your cats—do so NOW

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Paws Up for Wednesday – Uncatlike Cats

Have you noticed that some of the cats that are supposed to be well-bred—those that win the highest awards in cat shows–tend to look very uncatlike. They’re so fluffy and furry that they look like a pillow rather than a cat or they’re so long and lean and angular that they barely resemble a cat—a Gumby cat, maybe. Here’s a site with pictures of recent cat show winners. See what you think: https://cfa.org/top-cats-2022-regions-1-9/

Do you remember drawing cats as a child—or watching your own children or grandchildren draw cats? They might change the shape of a cat, use colors and patterns not typical to a cat. Well, breeders seem to be following this lead and creating cats in all colors, patterns, shapes, and fur types. Why? How can you improve on a cat? What’s wrong with the cat as it is? What’s the point of creating an animal that people have to look at twice or three times to determine for sure it’s a cat?

 

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Meowy Monday – Cats and Their Castles

Do your cats have cubbies? You know, a basket, shelf, box, compartment, little house where they like to hang out—away from the hustle-bustle of the household activity? Does she use the little cubicles on her cat tree to curl up and sleep the afternoon away?

I’ve had cats hang out under the bed, under the covers in my bed, under the sofa, on a window sill behind the draperies, and, of course, in a closet. When Olivia was young she evidently went into a closet when I opened it to get something one evening and she ended up spending the night in there. I was so frantic the next morning when I couldn’t find her. And, no, she didn’t scratch or meow at all. I just happened to open the door and out she ran right to the litter box. I felt AWFUL! To this day she’s leery of closets.

Cats like to hide and there are times when they seem to like privacy. Our cats have enjoyed some of the “houses” we’ve created for them from delivery boxes. We might stack them and create windows and doors for the cats to go through and look out through.

There are also cat houses—even castles, you can buy for your cats. The cat we have now, Olivia, is probably too fickle to get much use out of something like that. Maybe it’s her feral background, but she isn’t always easy to find when we want to check on her or need to know where she is. Most of my cats were pretty predictable when it came to their sleeping habits—on the bed, under the blankets, or on top of the cat tree. But Olivia keeps on the move. Sometimes we find her under the bed, or under the sofa, or inside one of her tunnels, in a cubical on one of her cat trees, and she will occasionally take a nap in a random closet. Offer her a cat bed? Forget it. She has two plush beds, which I’ve placed in different areas trying to entice her to curl up and take a comfortable snooze. Nope. She creates her own bed or castle and sometimes it’s not even cushioned. She’ll spend hours sleeping on the hardwood floor when there’s a cozy bed and plush carpeting at her disposal, or on my desk amidst a smattering of papers, a calculator, stapler, pens and pencils and so forth.

My favorite sleeping place for her is on my lap. She is the best cuddle cat ever.

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Feline Fun Friday – NEW Calico Cat Mystery

Olivia flaunts her superpowers.

Not only does the spunky calico join the crusade to help endangered cats, but she also lends a paw to others in need. No one knows what’s happening to the cats—why they’re disappearing, then showing up with dreadful injuries. The mystery baffles locals, so they call in Parker and Olivia. Along the way, Olivia engineers a method to keep a child from drowning, she very creatively causes a breakup then brings two people together, and she makes a medical diagnosis. Olivia’s crowning glory in this story is the part she plays in identifying the culprits who are harming the cats in a most bizarre scheme. She makes sure they’re caught and punished.

 

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Paws Up for Wednesday – Lovely and True Cat Quotes

 I enjoy my Cat-A-Day calendar. I’ve even had some of my photos of cats published in the calendar. This year I guess my spectacular photo of Olivia didn’t make the cut. How can that be???

I enjoy the photos on the calendar most of all, but I also like learning about each cat. And here’s a secret—sometimes I look through the calendar to find names to use for cats in my stories and for some of the human characters. The whole world is a research library.

Also I like the quotes that go along with some of the cat photos. Here are a few faves:

“If cats could talk, they wouldn’t.”

I’m not sure I go along with that. I’ve had cats that seem to have a lot to say and if they don’t think you’re listening they just talk louder. I swear I have taught Olivia to talk. Sometimes she’s obviously trying to get my attention—whining for attention. Other times it’s as if she’s actually trying to have a two-way conversation with me. Cuteness!

Here’s a quote I don’t recall seeing before. It’s on another cat calendar I’m using—from my favorite cat rescue shelter, ResQCats. “I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I’m sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.”

Have you heard/read the notion that cats are visible souls? That’s a sweet thought. And how many of you have been aware of visits from your cats that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge? So bitter sweet.

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Meowy Monday – Cats I Meet Along the Way

We all make cat friends—our own cats, but also other people’s cats, neighborhood cats and cats we meet along the way. This might include shop cats (in feed stores, pet stores, book stores, retail packing houses, nurseries, lumber yards, veterinarian’s offices, and cat cafés, to name a few), as well as at cat shows and those cats we happen across while traveling or out walking. I’ve even come across cats that were on their own walk with their person—in a stroller, draped over someone’s shoulder, on a leash, or in a backpack.

When we used to have in-person conferences with the Cat Writers Association, members with cool collected cats, therapy cats, trained cats would bring them to the conference. It was always fun to sit in a meeting or workshop or at a meal with a cat at the table, or to peek in on the kitty-cat playroom where well-behaved cats hung out while their person was attending a workshop.

When I see a cat while I’m on my daily walk, my phone camera immediately comes out and I start shooting. I shoot from a distance first and move in as close as the cat will allow me for an even better shot. I love these photos of the black cat in the cactus, which I took just last week. I walk that route often and that was the first time I’d seen this beauty. As you can see, she/he let me get pretty close—a curious kitty-cat for sure.

I particularly like photographing cats in windows. I think it’s rather artistic, but I’ve stopped shooting toward houses like that. The homeowner might not understand that I’m only after a photograph, I’m not trying to reveal their darkest secrets. I was shouted at once when I stopped to photograph a striking Siamese cat out in front of a yard. The homeowner was also out walking and she came running at me shouting to stop, stop! I rushed to apologize and explain I was just taking a picture of her cat. She had no sense of humor, nor was she neighborly. She simply told me to never do it again. Ooopsie.

 

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Feline Fun Friday – Enrichment for Cats

Do you have a cat or two or…? Good for you. There are a lot of cats out there that need homes. Do you keep your cat indoors? That’s another plus on your side as indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats. HOWEVER, as caretakers for our indoor cats we have a large responsibility—especially if you have just one cat.

I don’t remember a time when I had just one cat. It’s been years and years. We lost Sophie this year and Olivia is alone for the first time in her life. I think it’s been hard on her, so we’ve attempted to step up our way of interacting with her and caring for her. What does this mean? Well, she seems to need more attention and more enrichment.

We’ve added routines and rituals to our days with Olivia—more playtime, more petting/snuggle time, more grooming, more chit-chat (Olivia is a talker—but only when she seems to have something to say).

We have “window time” throughout the day and evening, where we make a production of opening a window (only when we’re going to be in the room with her) so she can sit on the sill or sofa or desk and watch birds, cars, people, children, dogs… I shout, “Olivia, want window?” and here she comes to my office or the living room. Note: Our windows have screens, but cats have been known to knock out screens, so that’s why we supervise window time.) We also have “feather time.” (I worry about her chewing on her ostrich feather and getting pieces stuck in her mouth or throat.) And we have “chase time,” where I toss things down the hallway and Olivia chases them—slipping and sliding along the way. She’s also sometimes in the mood to jump and catch wads of paper we toss, then there’s bed-making time, floor dusting time…Oh yes, I get a lot of help around here.

Enrichment is important for any cat, especially a young “only pet.” As you know, just like a human, a cat is more than just a ball of fur and a beautiful fixture for our home. They have needs and requirements for health and well-being beyond being fed and petted. And, as the title on a friend’s book clearly states, “Animals Have Feelings Too.”

Here are a couple of site presenting ideas for social enrichment for your cat. Let me know if you picked up any ideas and made any changes in your home.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go find Olivia and play hide-the-treat-and-seek, with her. (Pix Oliviabottle3, Oliviaenrichment, oliviaenrichment2)

https://lifeandcats.com/social-enrichment-for-cats

https://www.thesprucepets.com/enrichment-ideas-for-your-cat-4588682

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