Cat Project Archives for May 23-27,
23, 2015 - "Any conditioned cat-hater can be won over
by any cat who chooses to make the effort." - Paul
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Good morning."
Mewvie: The famous Russian "Inception Cat".
Street Art: The old litter-box-hidden-in-the-potted-plant trick.
York to become first state to ban declawing cats.
By Chuck Barney
New York is planning to ban the practice of declawing cats, sparking
a debate about whether the procedure is inhumane or should be kept as
last resort for troublesome felines.
If the legislation is passed, it would make New York the first US state
to outlaw surgery that essentially amounts to amputating a cat's toes
back to the first knuckle.
" None of us love the procedure," said Richard Goldstein, a veterinarian
at New York City's Animal Medical Centre. "But when the alternative is condemning
the cat to a shelter or to death? That's why we do it."
The state and national veterinary organisations that say they oppose
a ban on declawing do so because it's often the only way for cats with
behavioural problems to keep from being abandoned or put down, they say.
Such medical decisions should be left to the professionals and cat owners,
not politicians, they add.
Unlike human nails, a cat's claws are attached to bone, so declawing
a feline requires a veterinarian to slice through tendon and nerves to
remove the last segment of bone in a cat's toes.
Jenner Conrad, a California vet who traveled to the state capital Albany
this past week to lobby for the proposed ban, said: "It's amputation.
It is the equivalent of taking a cigar cutter and cutting the end joint
Lisa Fernandez, a Brooklyn primary school head teacher, said she declawed
her own cat before she knew what it entailed. Students at her school
are now participating in a lobbying campaign to urge lawmakers to support
"When I found out what it was, I was horrified," she said.
The debate comes as Americans' feelings about their four-legged friends
continue to evolve. Another bill in New York's Legislature would remove
sales taxes on pet food, and politicians voted last year to allow dogs
to join their human companions on the patios of restaurants.
Several states have now banned surgeries which remove a dog's vocal cords.
And all 50 states now have statutes making severe animal cruelty a felony.
"There's a rising tide of social concern about animal welfare," said
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States. "We've
proven that the American public is deeply concerned about the welfare of animals,
the ones that live with them and the ones used for food production."
Australia, Britain and several European countries already ban cat declawing.
It's also illegal in Los Angeles and some other California cities. Estimates
are that about a quarter of all household cats will be declawed in their
lifetimes - though vets that spoke to the AP say it's becoming less and
At the Animal Haven shelter in lower Manhattan, associate director Kendra
Mara said about 10 per cent of the cats up for adoption are declawed.
Some of the felines who have the procedure resort to biting instead,
and some avoid using the litter box because the litter can aggravate
"It's never an easy adoption," she said. "There's always the need
to work on the behavior issue."
24, 2015 - "Which is more beautiful--feline movement
or feline stillness?" - Elizabeth Hamilton
Gratuitous Kittiness: "You'd think we never fed him."
Mewvie: Crazy kitty attack practice.
Feline Art: Cat topiary
25, 2015 - "Many cats simply pounce to their own drummers." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Two cute.
Mewvie: Cute baby, good kitty.
Art: Commercial cat urn.
Rare "werewolf" kitten
found in South Africa.
By Chuck Barney
A Lykoi kitten — sometimes referred to as a "werewolf cat" — was
found by an animal rescue group in Cape Town, South Africa. This extremely
rare cat breed comes from a naturally occurring gene in feral cats, according
to the International Cat Association. The breed gets its name from the
Greek word for wolf.
Although the cat was discovered in March, it wasn't until recently that
the group realized how rare he was.
According to Tears Animal Rescue, "The cat, found under a bush,
is the only natural-born Lykoi on record in [South Africa] and one of
just 35 in the world, making this one of the most exciting discoveries
in the [South African] animal world in recent years."
They named the kitten Eyona, a South African name that means "The
Eyona was one of a litter of six rescued when their mother, a domestic
short-haired tabby, disappeared. But this kitten stood out from his siblings.
He has patchy, dark hair with flecks of gray and he acts more like a
dog than a cat, according to rescue workers. The group describes his
unique look as, "like a human, half-transformed into a mythical
Tears veterinarians were so enthralled by Eyona's unusual appearance
that they took a skin scraping to test for different diseases.
"He's got the look of a wolf, but the physique of a cat," Tears operations
manager Mandy Store told The Dodo. "We thought he might be a sphinx crossbreed,
but he's got a lot of little physical differences from cats. He's quite incredible."
Tests came back negative for diseases, so staffers did more research
to figure out what he could be.
A Lykoi specialist, U.S. veterinarian Dr. Johnny Gobble, helped identify
the kitten as a rare "werewolf cat."
“The little Lykoi at TEARS is the first natural mutation in South Africa
reported to me," he said in a statement on the rescue group's website. "The
Lykoi breeder in [South Africa] started with Lykoi cats from another breeder
that we began with our lines, so those cats were bred and did not occur naturally.”
Gobble said the kitten is the 35th known natural occurrence of the Lykoi
genetic mutation. Although other cats have been bred to produce the mutation,
Eyona is unusual because his mutation is apparently not inherited.
Although there's a lot of interest in the rare, unusual kitten, rescuers
have found a home for him "with one of the greatest feline experts
and animal lovers," according to the group.
"Eyona is quite different to other cats, is still feral and will need special
26, 2015 - "A cat determined not to be found can fold
itself up like a pocket handkerchief if it wants to." -
Louis J. Camuti, D.V.M.
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Hey! Would you mind keeping it down?"
Mewvie: "Dude! Who still uses CDs?"
Feline Art: Knitted cat, artist unknown.
27, 2015 - "If a fish is the movement of water embodied,
given shape, then a cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle
air." - Doris Lessing
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Yarn? I didn't see any yarn."
Art: Ceramic Cat by Carla of EK.
reunited with Iraqi kitten.
By CBS News
LOS ANGELES -- CBS affiliate Los Angeles had cameras rolling when a local
veteran was reunited with the little kitty he had to leave behind in
As baggage handlers carried him to his old friend, the tabby meow-ed
up a storm, and that's fitting. His name is Mr. Meowgi.
"Every morning, when we could pull up, he would run up from his little shelter
and he would just meow his head off," said Brad VanCleave.
Mr. Meowgi arrived at the Delta LAX cargo area to be reunited with the
man who helped rescue him in Baghdad.
"In July of 2015 I saw a baby kitten and he stuck his head out from one
of the shipping containers. And we started feeding it and his mom."
VanCleave, a Navy reservist from Murrieta, was working as a government
contractor at the Baghdad International Airport when the two became fast
"It's kind of a neat little feeling to know that you're arriving at your
work site and you're greeting by this meowing little baby, and he's chasing after
Mr Meowgi's mom abandoned the kitten but VanCleave couldn't do the same.
When it was time for him to return home to his family, the kitten stayed
on his mind.
I knew if I left him there and didn't bring him back" says VanCleave, "the
chances of him being alive when I got back were pretty slim."
The SPCA International and Operation Baghdad: Pups made this reunion
possible. It was by no means a fast journey. Mr. Meowgi left Baghdad
back on March 27, he headed to Erbil, Iraq, then it was on to Frankfurt,
Germany. Then New York before arriving in Los Angeles to meet his new
"I'm pretty excited," said one of VanCleave's sons.
Mr. Meowgi will now head home where there is more fur company -- another
cat and a dog.
VanCleave expects peace among the critter VanCleaves.
"No, wasn't worried at all," he says.
He's already captured the human hearts.
Mr. Meowgi may have come from a war zone but he was and always will be
surrounded by love.
"People who care for cats, whether they're on deployment, when they're that
attached to an animal, I wouldn't do anything less than bring him back. "