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Infinite Cat Project Archives for September 21-25, 2015.

Mewsings: September 21, 2015 - "Cats' hearing apparatus is built to allow the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other." - Stephen Baker

blissing out with a cat

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: The irresitable eyes of a kitten.

Cat Mewvie: When the stray becomes the friend.

humans as cats

Today's Kitty Komic

here kitty kitty by pascal campion

Surprise Kat Art: Art by Charles Wysocki

Erik the Red

Retirement party held in Halifax for ship’s mouser cat
by Aly Thomson

HALIFAX—An elderly orange tabby cat slept calmly on a table in the chart room of the CSS Acadia on Sunday as dozens of people dropped by to stroke his head and give him kisses in honour of his retirement.

Erik the Red, named after the famed Viking, has been the rodent control officer aboard the ship on the Halifax waterfront for more than 15 years.

He took up the role in 1999, when the malnourished stray kitten followed Acadia shipkeeper Stephen Read back to the vessel.

“I was walking through the streets of Halifax one night with a friend, and this cat started following us, street after street after street, and he wouldn’t go away,” said Read on the deck of the Acadia.

Read joked that Erik must have heard about the position through the “kitty cat grapevine,” as the former Acadia mouser Clara was not doing a very good job at the time of catching and killing rodents.

“ He really had to hit the ground running when he came on board ... but he more than proved his mettle,” said Read, adding that Erik would catch rodents far beyond the ship’s limits, patrolling the entire waterfront from Purdy’s Wharf to Pier 21.

“ He’s my buddy, and a valued co-worker. I’ve known three of the four rodent control officers who have been on board this ship since 1981, and he’s been the best that I’ve seen. He was the most efficient and the most consistent.”

The pair spent a decade and a half living together on the ship, with Erik sometimes leaving dead rodent surprises for Read.

“ I woke up one morning to find the bits of a small rat, its head and tail, in the bottom of my shoe when I put my shoe on,” said Read, sporting a long ponytail and an ascot cap. “I understood that it was a symbolic gift, and I was grateful for it, after the initial shock.”

But the harshness of Halifax winters combined with Erik’s age, which is somewhere between 17 and 20, meant it was time for him to swallow the anchor. He’s been semi-retired for a few years and now lives at a home in Halifax’s north end.

The friendly feline, who recently had one of his eyes removed because of melanoma, has become a fixture on the Halifax waterfront, often dropping into gift shops and napping on the boardwalk. Read said tourists from across the globe would send in their photos of Erik.

His popularity was clear at his retirement party on Sunday, where dozens dropped by to wish him well.

A guest book in the Acadia’s chart room was filled with memories. One Halifax resident described how Erik brightened her walks to and from work, while another lamented they will never be able to look at another orange cat without thinking of him.

Erik was unfazed by the crowds of people congregated around him in the small space. He spent most of the party sleeping on a grey sweater, occasionally opening his one eye to catch of glimpse of whoever was patting his back.

The Acadia, a Canadian Scientific Ship, was retired in 1969 and is now a permanent floating museum in Halifax harbour.

Mewsings: September 22, 2015 - "A cat allows you to sleep on the bed. On the edge."- Jenny de Vries

one cat and six puppies

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Do you mind?"

Cat Mewvie: Just for fun, apparently.

cat breaks the fourth wall

Today's Kitty Komic

woman wirth cat by renoir

Feline Art: "Woman with cat" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Mewsings: September 23, 2015 - "The trouble with cats is that they've got no tact." - P. G. Wodehouse

derpy cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: Sheer elegance.

Cat Mewvie: This cat just LOVES his boy.

cats are the only deity you need

Today's Kitty Komic

why you should adopt a black cat

Surprise Kitty Art: Sculptor unknown.

egg mold

Make the purr-fect breakfast wth this new cat-shaped egg mold.

The San Francisco-based website Egg Addiction has created a cat-shaped egg molds to jazz up everyday eggs.

All you have to do is lightly oil your pan with cooking spray and place the silicone mold on the pan. Separate two eggs (but be careful when handling the yolks!) and pour them into the pan, using the yolks as the cat’s eyes. Cook the eggs to your preference and voilà!

There are many different ways to serve your cat-shaped eggs — in a traditional American breakfast with bacon, hash browns, and sausage; over kimchi fried rice; and even over pasta. It’s also a fun way to entice kids who are picky eaters.

There are two sizes — regular and mini. The cat egg molds are expected to ship in February 2016 and should make the purr-fect gift for all cat lovers.

Mewsings: September 24, 2015 - "It is remarkable, in cats, that the outer life they reveal to their masters is one of perpetual boredom." - Robley Wilson, Jr.

A roman cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: A Roman cat.

Cat Mewvie: Most kittens held in a single hand.

human as the cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat face by Braldt Bralds

Feline Art: The art of Braldt Bralds.

Mewsings: September 25, 2015 - "People meeting for the first time suddenly relax if they find they both have cats. And plunge into anecdote."- Charlotte Gray

big cat yawn

Gratuitous Kittiness: A study in black and white... and fur.

Cat Mewvie: Bow before the power of the kitten!

hungry cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic: Cat door prank.

Austin, Texas, cat folk art.

Surprise Kat Art: Austin, Texas, cat folk art.

one -eyed Tigger

Life lessons from a limping, toothless, one-eyed cat.
by Jim Gabour

He was deserted by his mother at birth and only survived by his wits. He begged for food from seedier neighborhood hangers-on, those scarcely better off than he. He scavenged for meals through rotting garbage in restaurant dumpsters on the precarious New Orleans lakefront. He occasionally trapped a fish or two, or found a dead crab washed up on the shore. He slept in abandoned cubbyholes.

He managed his own life with help from no one.

Then, as he was trying to cross a street, once again scrabbling for food, he was hit and critically injured by a car. The vehicle rolled over him, and did not stop to help.

Neighbors saw his injury, ran to the accident site and tried to find him. But, like sole survivalists are wont to do, he had instantly gone to ground to try and recover on his own. When, by pure chance, he was discovered weeks later by a rescuer, he was on the verge of death, had lost one eye, all his teeth, and the use of a leg. His tongue was split down the middle. Untreated, his bones had fused incorrectly.

He was in constant pain, and tried as best he could to communicate his distress.

His volunteer doctor ordered him taken for rehabilitation to a wooded inland farm in Mississippi, a place that catered to such lost souls. He was just settling in there when in 2005 hurricane Katrina came ashore just south of the place, inundating the coastline with a 30-foot storm surge.
But he survived again, and even began to thrive.

Last December he was offered for adoption online, his story accompanied by a picture of his tortured, though admirable, face. Even the rescue agency itself admitted that a limping, toothless, and half-blind 13-year-old was a long shot for adoption.

So he came to live in my house.

I called him Tigger. He gained weight and then a feeling of safety on a steady diet and much petting. But after months of stability, Tigger had what the doctors thought was a possible heart attack, sending some sort of embolism from his heart to his lungs.

In the process of diagnosing his condition and evaluating his status, they performed a number of scientific and medical procedures, including taking a life-sized x-ray. They looked inside his thick orange fur and discovered even more of his history.

There was a bullet lodged in his side. It had been there some time and has scarred over.
Two of his spinal vertebrae were crushed in what were probably the jaws of a large dog.
He had many, many other healed wounds.

All this violence attached to the touchingly affectionate creature that had slept purring with his head and front paws on my hip for all these past months. I never realized before the x-ray just how far he had come, how much he had endured. Yet here was a creature still able to blot out past horror and simply offer himself as a loving presence in other’s lives.

That nervous Sunday morning, while I waited for word about Tigger’s imminent transfer to a different, much better-equipped, and vastly more expensive critical-care facility, I looked at the headlines on the web, on the Guardian website and in the newspapers. None of which were comforting.

I read the stories of so many lives lost to tragedy and terror, both natural and man-made, and became depressed amidst the reported masses of undeserved pain and death.

There are so many innocents taken up in the tide of misery and forged into a singular face: the dead Syrian child washed ashore on Lesbos, the Afghans trapped behind razor wire in Hungary, the victims of a tsunami and earthquakes in Chile. The orphaned, tortured and prostituted child of the Sudan. Too many.

And too much pain for the “civilized” world to bear. For those who, like me, send a pound, a euro, a dollar and try to forget the individual faces. Over my clean coffee cup, silverware and plate, in the security of my own locked and alarmed home, I was once again forced to realize the depth of true sorrow, of the loss of individual lives.

But this old tabby and his now-discovered contents made me begin separating faces, lives and stories. Maybe this is his function on earth, offering himself as a reminder for compassion on a personal scale.

Tigger would tell them that they all matter, if he could. He himself matters, here in this hard place where creatures live and die at the whim of their fellows.

But all the love in the world could not keep Tigger alive forever. Not too long ago, a year and a half after he arrived at my door, Tigger died of a massive heart attack, suffered as he enjoyed his dinner.

He left the world happy and knowing he was safe and loved.

I miss the old boy daily.


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