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Infinite Cat Project Archives for February 8-125, 2016.

Mewsings: February 8, 2015 - "You can not look at a sleeping cat and feel tense." - Jane Pauley

cat in cone

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Do I LOOK like I'm having a nice day?"

Cat Mewvie: What doesn't kitty-kitty like?

cat basking in sunlight

Today's Kitty Komic

Bali street market cats statues

Feline Street Art: In a Bali street market.

aging cat eating habits

How to Make Eating Easier, and More Enjoyable, for an Aging Cat

When it comes to aging, the changes in your cat can be subtle. It may seem as if she’s going along fine: still sleeping most of the day, still sitting in your lap when you get home from work, still doing a couple of good daily stretches on the scratching post.

But there’s one sure sign that your cat is getting older, and it’s one that you should be looking for. How well does she eat? Whether she’s a nibbler or a gobbler, the way she eats is a solid clue to her well-being.

What to Look For

You may notice that your cat seems to have gotten picky in her old age. Picky as in she picks up a piece of kibble in her mouth and then drops it. That doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t like the food, but it’s a good sign that her mouth is the gateway to gums that are red, inflamed and swollen. When I examine some cats, the gums look as if they’ve been hit with a flamethrower and a jackhammer.

Sadly, most cats don’t get the preventive dental care they need and deserve. Cats with painful periodontal disease are more the norm than older cats with good oral health. It’s been estimated that by 2 years of age, 70 percent of cats suffer from some kind of periodontal disease, which can progress to bone and tooth loss. There are no kitty dentures, so once teeth are lost, your cat is going to be a gummer — and even that can be excruciatingly painful.

If your cat is having trouble eating, ask your veterinarian to give your cat an oral exam. She may recommend a professional cleaning, including X-rays to assess for problems under the gums, and possibly the removal of painful teeth to help your cat feel better and get back to her regular eating habits.

Make Meals a Pleasure Again

If your older cat has lost a lot of teeth, or if she’s simply less interested in her kibble, consider making a gradual transition to a high-quality canned food. It’s soft and moist, making it easier to chew.

Just like humans, a cat’s sense of smell often weakens with age, so we have to amp up the food’s aroma before older cats can smell and taste it. Whether you are feeding dry or canned food, warm it slightly in the microwave before serving (it may help to add a little water to the dry kibble before warming). Heat it for seven to 15 seconds, stir it thoroughly and test it with your finger to make sure it’s not too hot for your cat’s mouth.

There are also commercial flavor enhancers you can add to your cat’s food and special therapeutic foods that are formulated specifically for sick or elderly pets who don’t want to eat. Ask your veterinarian for details.

Most important, remember that tuna breath is only funny in cartoons and do your best to keep your cat’s mouth healthy throughout life.

Mewsings: February 9, 2015 - "Most cats are not shy about letting their people know what they want." - Karen Duprey

bengal kittens

Gratuitous Kittiness: Beautiful Bengal cats.

Cat Mewvie: Bless you, kind woman. (I have no other information on this story.)

cat chakra

Today's Kitty Komic

cat poem by Tolkien

Feline Art: A little cat poetry.

Mewsings: February 10, 2015 - "One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home."- Pam Brown

cat on headrest

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I'll keep an eye out for cops."

Cat Mewvie: What a patient kitty.

free cats comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat topiary

Feline Art: Cat topiary.

ny post office cats

A Brief History of Post Office Cats
by Erin Blakemore

When the Royal Mail announced that it will be opening a Postal Museum and Mail Rail exhibition that will feature a restored section of a little-known underground railroad, it kind of buried the real story. Sure, the institution is responsible for such mail-delivery revolutions as the postage stamp and the iconic red pillar mailbox, but the upcoming heritage effort is exciting for more than mere philatelic history. Located beneath the streets of London, the Royal Mail will also pay tribute to the phenomenon of post office cats.

The Guardian’s Maev Kennedy reports that the museum will feature a display paying homage to the the postal system’s furry employees of yore—post office cats with their own wages and pensions. Early postmasters weren’t necessarily cat lovers; they needed a way to get rid of mice. So they brought cats in to their buildings. But cats don’t eat for free, and in 1868 the Secretary of the Post Office authorized post offices to hire cats, allotting only one shilling, not the requested two, a week to feed all three original cats—over time, the salary of these furry workers would sometimes result in bitter battles over just how much money they deserved. In 1918, a finicky cat helped bump the salary up, giving each cat its own weekly shilling, and that rate remained until the 1950s, when it was revealed that the one-shilling-a-week allowance had stayed the same, though the rate apparently kept up with inflation over the years.

Tibs the Great was the Royal Mail’s most famous post office cat. According to the mail service, he eventually weighed in at 23 pounds and became the official Royal Mail Headquarters cat over 14 years of service. When he died, Tibs (the son of Minnie, another epic post office cat) was lauded with an obituary in the service’s magazine that recalled that “there is no record of Tibs ever granting audience to a Postmaster General.”

The UK may have had Tibs, but it didn’t have dibs on the idea of hard-working postal felines. In 1904, the New York Times reported that George W. Cook, “the only Superintendent of Federal Cats in this country,” gave a party for 60 post office cats in honor of his own 81st birthday. On the menu? Calve liver and lamb kidney.

Three years earlier, the population of post office cats had reached such proportions that the New York Post Office took the unprecedented step of banishing the entire group. The phenomenon was apparently quite common: Historic newspapers are filled with accounts of post office cats, their amazing rat- and mouse-catching skills, and their lives of brave (and adorable) service.

Daniel Piazza, chief curator of philately at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, says that post offices often kept beloved dogs as well. One example is Owney, a mail dog so beloved his colleagues at the post office had him stuffed and put him in a museum. "Dogs tended to be mascots for post offices," Piazza explains. "They were kept by the postal employees as pets, whereas cats were viewed more as working animals." Today, Owney is one of the National Postal Museum's biggest attractions, though Piazza admits he finds the taxidermied pup "kind of creepy."

These days, things like exterminators and no dogs allowed rules have made post office pets a thing largely of the past. But it’s fun to think of the modern postal service being built on the backs of hungry kitties.

Mewsings: February 11, 2015 - "Who needs television when you have cats?" - Lori Spigelmyer

two cats in dryer

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Fluff-dry, please."

Cat Mewvie: Practicing my dragon roar.

political party cats

Today's Kitty Komic

cat clock

Feline Art: Beautiful, painted rocks by Ernestina Gallina.

Mewsings: February 12, 2015 - "There is, indeed, no single quality of the cat that man could not emulate to his advantage." - Carl Van Vechten

cat ballet

Gratuitous Kittiness: Cat ballet.

Cat Mewvie: "Mommy's drowning! Somebody save her!"

kitty licking butt

Today's Kitty Komic

cat drawing superimposed over real cat

Feline Art: Spring is coming (artist uknown)

lost migrant cat

Migrant cat looking for its family
by Corey Charlton

A campaign is underway to reunite a friendly cat with its migrant owners after it became separated from them during the boat crossing from Turkey to Greece.

Nicknamed Dias after the modern Greek name for Zeus, volunteer Ashley Anderson is hoping she can track down his original owners who she believes have now settled somewhere in Europe.
Dias has since been flown back to Berlin, where Ms Anderson suspects her owners, from Mosul, Iraq, have now settled.

Ms Anderson - who spent £480 of her own money to fly the cat to Berlin - was helping on the island of Lesbos when the family came ashore.

But in the chaos of their arrival on shore, the panicked cat leaped onto the beach and ran into hiding.

In the following days the family were unable to find him and were eventually moved to a holding centre before eventually leaving the island altogether.

Ms Anderson wrote on the cat's crowdfunding page: 'We don't know the family names or have a photo of them, but we do have the info of how he came to be here at the beginning of November from eyewitnesses.

'We know his family is likely somewhere further up the route in Europe somewhere. Thanks to some help from Edward St George, he's been to the vet for a health check/vaccines/microchip. We got him fixed and he has been happy and healthy ever since.

'While trying to locate his family, we found a kind foster mother in Berlin, Germany. She will take him and keep him for one year while the family is searched for via flyers and social media.
'If the family is not found, the foster mother has agreed to adopt him.

'In a small way, his journey represents the plight of all who are seeking a better life. We need each other.

'If it wasn't for people taking notice of his vulnerable state and taking him in under their wings, he'd likely be fighting for food and struggling to thrive.

'By offering him a place to stay and good food, he's now able to sit by the fire and process what all he's been through. He's sleeping a lot and is very talkative when he's awake. He didn't go unnoticed, and will not be forgotten about.'

Addendum: The cat, whose real name was Kunkush, was reunited with his owners in Norway.


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