Cat Project Archives for November 16-20, 2015.
16, 2015 - "I have noticed that what cats most appreciate
in a human being is not the ability to produce food which
they take for granted--but his or her entertainment value." -
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Winter, do your worst."
Mewvie: Cats apparantly hate cucumbers.
Art: Simon's fuel.
friends come to aid of Calgary cat house.
As business owners decide their next steps following a massive fire that
destroyed several shops in a northwest strip mall last week, funds are
pouring in for a cherished cat store that burned to the ground in the
More than $15,000 has already been raised for The Cat House, a longtime
staple in Calgary’s cat community, in the Stadium Shopping Centre.
Fire ripped through the northwest strip mall in the 1900 block of Uxbridge
Drive on Thursday morning, destroying four businesses including The Cat
House, damaging two others, and sending two firefighters and a child
from an area school to hospital.
online fundraising page has been set up to help
the store dedicated to felines recover from the blaze and
reopen before the busy Christmas season.
The money raised will cover “employee wages that are not covered
by insurance” and help the store get new products, according to
an online fundraising page.
“To its employees and customers, this unique little shop meant so much
more than a place to buy your cat food and cat toys. It was a place to meet new
friends and form relationships to last years to come,” the fundraising
page (found at https://www.gofundme.com/pca4sddw) states.
The Cat House operated in Calgary for 25 years, and was located at the
northwest shopping centre since 2000.
The strip mall was expected to be torn down next year for a major new
development and other business owners affected by the fire have told
the Herald they’re unsure if they will rebuild in the wake of the
Fire investigators have not yet released any details on what caused the
17, 2015 - "A cat's got her own opinion of human beings.
She don't say much, but you can tell enough to make you
anxious not to hear the whole of it." - Jerome K.
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Good job, human."
Mewvie: Everyone likes cats.
Feline Art: The danger
of excess static electricity.
18, 2015 - "Cats do not have to be shown how to have
a good time, for they are unfailing ingenious in that respect." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I approve of your choice of friends,
Mewvie: Even professional cats have bad days.
Butts by Gabby Darienzo.
famous cats of Russia's Hermitage Museum.
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is home to some of the world’s
most valued treasures—as well as about 70 cats.
While the museum’s feline residents are not permitted inside the
galleries, they actively patrol behind the scenes and keep the institution
The cats first took up residence inside the Hermitage well before it
was a museum, in 1745, when Empress Elisabeth put out a call for the “finest
cats of Kazan,” to help catch mice in what was then a palace, according
to an article by AFP.
Later, under the rule of Catherine the Great, the cats earned the nickname
the “Winter Palace cats.”
Through war and famine, the cats’ population has ebbed and flowed,
and today there are enough that the museum has recruited help. Staffer
Irina Popovets is dedicated to taking care of the animals.
Cats are often brought to the museum by owners who can no longer care
for them, Ms. Popovets said. And since they’ve gained a cult celebrity
status with visiting tourists, a website has been set up by the museum
for people who may be interested in adoption—of whom there are
“It is an honor to adopt a Hermitage cat,” Ms. Popovets told one
potential cat owner.
The next step for the cats, museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky told the
AFP: “Given the Hermitage cats’ popularity, we have decided
to kickstart a process to copyright their name.”
19, 2015 - "Cats are intended to teach us that not
everything in nature has a purpose." - Garrison Keillor
Gratuitous Kittiness: "This is how this works, right?"
Mewvie: Feel the beat.
The Feline Arts: Yes, this is a thing. Yes, I approve.
20, 2015 - "Since each of us is blessed with only
one life, why not live it with a cat?- Robert Stearns
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Meow, purr, beep."
Mewvie: Rastus the motorcycle cat. (See story below)
Art: South African bushman painting of lion or cheetah.
story of Max Corkill and Rastus, the motorcycle
(See video above)
Rastus was a jet-black, Bombay-cross cat (although one source described
him as Burmese), born in Canada. Max Corkill, a panel-beater by trade
and a keen car and bike restorer and bike customiser, had worked in the
Vancouver, BC area of Canada for many years; he and Rastus met each other
in 1989 at a swap meet. A young girl asked him to look after the kitten
while she went to look at something, but she never returned. Corkill
took him home, advertised in the local paper and on radio stations, but
when there were no replies he decided to keep the cat. The two were soon
to become inseparable. On finding Rastus one day a few weeks later asleep
on one of the bikes in his workshop, he started it up to see whether
the cat would take fright and jump off — but he didn't. So Max
took the bike, with cat, out for a slow ride around, and Rastus loved
it, leaning forward with his forepaws on the handlebars and back paws
on the petrol tank.
The biking begins
From then on, whenever Max rode, so did Rastus. A leather cover was made
to fit over the tank of whichever bike they were using — Rastus
wasn't fussy — for comfort and to give a better grip, and before
long he also had a specially made little helmet and pair of goggles.
He sported a red-spotted bandana round his neck in authentic biker fashion.
In North America alone he was said to have covered some 75,000 miles
in all (120,000 km) cruising around with Max. For longer journeys, instead
of his customary position leaning into the wind on the petrol tank, Rastus
would ride in a specially-made zipped pouch mounted on the tank in front
of Max, with just his head peeping out. The BMW's tank sometimes became
very hot, but with Rastus' comfort always a priority Max's design incorporated
venting which allowed air to flow over the tank in space beneath the
A change of scene — and charity work
In 1994, after his long stay in Canada, Corkill returned to New Plymouth
in his native New Zealand to be near his elderly mother. Of course Rastus
went too, although first he had to spend six months in quarantine in
Hawaii, which he didn't enjoy and Max said seemed 'very long'. Once he
was cleared, the pair devoted time to raising money for animal charities.
Max formed a company to market souvenirs such as T-shirts, posters and
badges (the latter sold out). They even had a joint cheque account, with
Rastus' signature being his pawprint, also used on some of the merchandise.
The duo visited schools to tell children about the importance of caring
for pets; they attended various functions; they starred in a prize-winning
television advert for the Bell Tea Company. 'The cat was just like a
person,' said Bell CEO John Mahoney. 'He used to come into the offices
here and make himself at home. He would drink milky tea out of a cup
(no sugar), and would get quite testy if it was taken away before he
had finished.' There was a thriving Rastus fan club, and the pair became
a familiar sight on the roads around Taranaki and New Plymouth, often
on Max's classic 1952 Sunbeam.
At Christmastime each year Max would put on a Santa outfit and disguise
a bike as a sleigh, while Rastus sported a special helmet with little
imitation reindeer antlers attached . They would take part in a Toy Run,
organised by a local bikers' group who collected toys along the way for
disadvantaged children. In some ways the cat was said to behave more
like a dog, obeying Max's commands and 'growling' replies, rather than
Tragedy and tributes
About a thousand bikers took part in the funeral procession for Max and
Rastus, New Zealand, Jan 1998 Two helmets on the coffin and Rastus' bandana;
also an image of Max and Rastus at Mount Egmont where their ashes were
scattered Tragedy struck on the morning of 20 January 1998, when they
were riding Max's customised black BMW, in company with his partner Gaynor
Martin. Their bike collided head on with a car coming round a bend on
the wrong side of the road; all three died instantly. Rastus had been
in his pouch on the tank. The 31-year-old car driver turned out to be
drunk, and was charged by police with two counts of manslaughter as well
as driving offences.
Their friend Pastor Wally Aish took the funeral service for Max and Rastus
on 23 January in New Plymouth. An amazing crowd of over a thousand fellow
bikers came to pay their respects and take part in the funeral procession.
The two pals' helmets were placed side by side on the coffin they shared,
and they were cremated together, as Max had wished. Their ashes were
scattered by Max's eldest son at a ceremony on Mount Egmont, a mountain
they both loved and that Rastus had been the only cat to climb. There's
a tribute site for Max, Gaynor and Rastus; and at the scene of the accident
three white crosses were erected at the roadside, the centre and smallest
one for Rastus having a black wooden cat attached to it, with a red bandana.