Cat Project Archives for August 3-7, 2015.
3, 2015 - "My cat does not talk as respectfully to
me as I do to her." - Colettet
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "I'm helping."
Mewvie: Meeting a mountain lion.
doesn't quit. By
Animal rescue workers say they see cruelty every day. But one lucky cat
-- shot, scared and left for dead -- is reminding them why they continue
their efforts to fight for all creatures.
Her name is Rockette - and it's safe to say Rockette has used up a few
of her nine lives.
"She was pretty bad," recalls Dr. Jami Grace, veterinarian for Helping
Hands Humane Society's veterinary services. "She was one that euthanasia
as an option was discussed."
In late March, a fisherman spotted a bag lying along the bank of the
Kansas River. He opened it to find a cat, barely clinging to life. He
called Animal Control, who brought her to the veterinary clinic at Helping
Dr. Grace says the cat's face was so swollen, she first thought the animal
had been hit by a vehicle. Then, she started to find the lead pellets
in her face and ears. She says they pulled out a handful that they could
see. One of the lead pellets damaged her left eye to the point where
there was no eye left. But Dr. Grace was undeterred, thinking this cat
who's survived being shot, stuffed in a sack and tossed in the water
came to her for a reason.
"She was a survivor so I thought I ought to give her a chance," she
She gave the cat pain medication, antibiotics and fluid. She took the
cat home for the weekend, where her eight-year-old son took it upon himself
to help with feeding her and making her drink water. By the end of the
weekend, the cat started to come back to life.
"(My son) said, 'We have to give it a really tough name,' so we named it
Rocky," Dr. Grace said. "Then about Sunday, I looked and saw Rocky
was a girl, so we changed it to Rockette!"
Rockette had another surprise. Turns out, her will to survive might have
been a bit of maternal instinct. A few weeks after she arrived, they
discovered she was pregnant. Rockette delivered five kittens in mid-May.
Three survived and are thriving, under Rockette's loving attention.
"She's a great mom," Dr. Grace said.
While Rockette's survival is incredible, unfortunately, her story is
not unique. Dr. Grace says the staff at Helping Hands sees cruelty daily,
with Rockette among the most severe cases. She says the community needs
to know animal abuse exists - and that they have options.
"If people don't know what to do or can't care for their animal, bring them
here," she said. "We will take care of them. We will invest in them
and give them every opportunity we can."
Rockette still has a long road ahead. Another surgery may be done to
remove two pellets still lodged in her right eye and nasal area that
are causing continued inflammation, and leaving her with little to no
vision. But she's a fighter, launching a loving comeback in the face
of what could have been a horrible end.
"It's the reason I do what I do," Dr. Grace said. "Not every is
as lucky as Rockette. She's really lucky. She's a great cat."
Rockette's kittens should be ready for adoption in three to four weeks.
Dr. Grace then will evaluate the next steps in Rockette's treatment.
4, 2015 - "A cat is the only domestic animal I know
who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job
of it." - Joseph Epstein
Gratuitous Kittiness: Riding on the shoulders of giants.
5, 2015 - "The trouble with sharing one's bed with
cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you."-
Gratuitous Kittiness: "This is not what it looks like."
Mewvie: Rough start, happy ending, good people.
cat finds new home. By
Bonnie Butterworth arrived at the Western Arizona Humane Society at noon
on Tuesday. She had been speaking to WAHS Director Patty Gillmore all
week, in the hope of adopting a brown tortoise-shell cat who was rescued
on Saturday, July 25, from a sunken boat on Lake Havasu.
Butterworth has been rescuing cats since she was a child, as her family
adopted and cared for strays throughout her neighborhood. “I was
in tears after I read her story,” Butterworth said. “I can’t
even think about what this cat went through.”
“Lucky” is a nine-year-old female who survived a terrifying experience
last month after stowing away on a low-profile power boat belonging to Genaro
Rudaldava, of Orange County, Calif. She climbed into the front compartment of
the boat where Rudaldava stored his supplies, and without his knowledge, accompanied
him on his voyage across the lake. High waves overtook the craft near a sandbar
North of Lake Havasu City, where it sank to the bottom.
A Mohave County Sheriff’s Department search and rescue team contacted
John Zucalla, of Dive Time Recovery, to recover the vessel. Zucalla was
already on the lake, and responded to the scene within an hour to pull
Rudaldava’s boat ashore. Zucalla brought the boat to a local mechanic
to have the water flushed from its engine. There, they discovered the
wet, shaking and terrified cat.
Lucky survived underwater for more than an hour, using an air pocket
within the boat’s front compartment to breathe. Submerged in the
cold water of Northern Lake Havasu and with her air supply running out,
Lucky’s rescue had come not a moment too soon.
Mechanics contacted Zucalla when they found Lucky, and had to cut away
pieces of the boat’s upholstery to extract the terrified feline.
Lucky was taken to the WAHS Intake Center the next day, and was moved
into the shelter’s general holding area three days later.
Lucky’s story went viral last week as news organizations around
the world reported on the feline’s ordeal. She wasn’t microchipped,
or tagged, which made finding her owners nearly impossible. She also
wasn’t spayed, and WAHS performed the operation as a matter of
Butterworth already owns two other cats, and she has plenty of space
to accommodate Lucky. “This is not my first cat rescue. People
don’t understand how much rehab these cats have to go through.
It takes a lot of patience, but if you do it right, you can have a really
Butterworth says that Lucky will need a few days in a quiet environment
as she adjusts to her new life. “I’m just thrilled to finally
get her out of the shelter,” she said. “She needs to heal.”
Lucky didn’t have any serious injuries after her ordeal, according
to WAHS, but she suffered blisters to her paws as she scrambled inside
the sinking vessel, and may have suffered minor injuries to her back
during her ordeal.
“ She’s still very nervous,” Gillmore said. “Our veterinarian
says that she’s going to need a lot of tender loving care. She’s
been through a lot of trauma after she was stuck under water for so long, but
she’s a lot more comfortable than she was last week, thank goodness.”
Gillmore says that anytime that a cat is turned over to WAHS by an owner,
or brought into the shelter as a stray, it’s a traumatic experience. “When
they’re taken to an unfamiliar place, it’s always a stressful
experience for them,” she said. “They hide in their litterbox,
which is usually a sign that they’re stressed. When you think about
how frightened she was, it’s going to take time for her to feel
Gillmore has been receiving calls from dozens of news agencies throughout
the country about Lucky, and has received calls from hopeful pet owners
as far away as Oregon who hoped that Lucky might be identified as their
own missing pet.
6, 2015 - "I have studied many philosophers and many
cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "This is not how WHAT works?"
Mewvie: "Ah LOVES me some hair!"
7, 2015 - "I There is, incidently, no way of talking
about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Feed me."
Mewvie: "Workin' for mah dinner."
cats took over the internet: new exhibition for
feline fans. By
(Please note the opening image features the Infinite Cat Project. SQUEEEEEEEEEE!)
“To be honest, I’m allergic,” confesses Jason Eppink. The associate
curator of digital media at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI),
should be thankful his aversion to felines won’t affect the institution’s
new exhibition: How Cats Took Over The Internet. It is a continuation of previous
exhibits like Cut Up, a collection of re-edited popular work from largely self-taught,
hobbyist editors and The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture, an enormous wall
of emotional memes.
“ It’s fun, but it isn’t frivolous,” notes Carl Goodman,
the museum’s executive director, keenly aware that projections of funny
cat vids are in the direct line of sight of an Orson Welles portrait from MoMI’s
How Cats Took Over The Internet is on view in the museum’s Amphitheater
Gallery from Friday. It’s the same space that not long ago showed
new collages from master Czech animator Jan Svankmajer alongside a looping
reel of his celebrated work. Critics and cinephiles love Svankmajer (and
other film-makers are inspired by him), but his reach doesn’t exactly
extend into the mainstream. Anyone who accesses Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr,
Reddit, BuzzFeed or email has looked at one of the internet’s famous
funny cats, such as Maru or Lil Bub.
So why cats? Eppink has some interesting answers. Celebrating cats in
this fashion is tiedwith new technology. Eppink quotes BuzzFeed’s
Jack Shepherd in referring to the internet as a virtual cat park. Dog
owners can go out and have their pets sniff one another, cats are mainly
indoors. There was also the long perceived pejorative around cats – the
crazy cat lady, a lonely spinster knitting and playing Carole King records.
When the internet gave us a peek at everyone else’s cats, and how
owners are delighted with the silly and obnoxious things they do, it
changed their perception. It was no longer a private thing to be secretly
happy when your cat decides to knock a drink over for no reason and give
you a blank look. A community of cat worship not seen since the days
of Imhotep was born.
The core of the exhibit is a timeline that is (here it comes) catnip
to people who trade in web memes. Kitty Cams emerged in 1996, one of
the many low-fi broadcasting sites that were always more interesting
in theory than practice. Then came funny pictures like Pet of the Day,
followed by Cat Scans, a 1998 trend, in which owners put their cats on
home office scanners. The middle of the last decade saw Reddit’s
user generated Caturday, which then morphed into the classic “lolcat”.
At the same time came Stuff on My Cat (a personal fave), in which owners
would put household objects on their pets who just did not, in internet
speak, GAF. “The internet’s memory can be a bit ephemeral,” Eppink
In 2007 someone stuck the phrase “I can has Cheezburger?” on
a seemingly smiling cat (named Happy Cat) and things really took off.
Investor Ben Huh created the Cheezburger Network, which is your ground
zero of internet memes. Anthropomorphizing real (not cartoon) cats with
the Impact font became the de rigueur way to respond to an email or message
The still images led to gifs (Nyan Cat) and then videos (Keyboard Cat)
and then, eventually, movie stars. “What you have here, in addition
to some adorable imagery, is a window into the history of the internet.
Cam subjects, still pictures and now, with broadband, celebrities,” Eppink
said. Grumpy Cat has starred in a kid-friendly TV movie, Lil Bub has
been the subject of a documentary. Maru the Cat has had two books published
in the US and Japan.
The existential French feline Henri, le Chat Noir didn’t make the
wall, but his owner (and founder of the Cat Video Festival) Will Braden
curated the looping 30-minute highlight reel of great cat videos that
will play in the amphitheater. Additionally, and in keeping with the
user generated nature of the phenomenon, people will be able submit their
picks if they think something is missing. If you crack up every time
your pain-in-the-butt puss sits down on the newspaper you’re trying
to read, this is your chance to capture that and put it in a museum where
There will also be dates during the run where the museum will work in
conjunction with pet adoption agencies, and they are planning to announce
visits from some very internet famous real life cats. On Saturday 10
October, the museum’s chief film programmer David Schwartz is planning
The Cat-vant Garde Film Show, a night of pet-focused art cinema featuring
the work of, among others, Stan Brakhage, Carolee Schneeman and Maya
Deren. (Additional programs with different titles are set for November
and December. Fingers crossed for some Chris Marker.) Schwartz sees commonalities
between avant garde film-makers, who often work alone, with videos in
the exhibition that are “made by amateurs with low- and no-budget
equipment”. Also, whether you are an experimental artist or not,
nearly everyone is drawn to cats who are “eminently photographable,
MoMI’s core collection begins with zoetropes, trompes l’oeil
and projectors the size of a Mini Cooper. Over the years their programming
has included the complete works of Pasolini’s Salo, Peter Greenaway’s
early short films and a two-day showing of Rivette’s Out 1. Purists
may scoff and say an eight-second loop of a kitten playing with a toilet
paper roll is not exactly advancing the art of cinema. But for moving
images in our culture, there are few that are more ubiquitous. When Eppink
and I start discussing the Kuleshov effect in comparison to a cat’s
mercurial nature, Goodman’s ears, perhaps still feeling a slight
burn from the gaze of Orson Welles’ portrait, perk up. “Feel
free to project any and all film theory on to this,” he beams.
There might be something in that: Citizen Cat anyone?