Cat Project Archives for July 11-15,
11, 2016 - "I have studied many philosophers and many
cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." -
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "How rrrrude! Cahn't you see I'm in the
Mewvie: Louis Wain: The Man Who Drew Cats.
Street Art: By Louis Wain.
boards cat, decides to make it a parade. (I
love these guys.)
by Eric O'Brien
LOVES PARK, Ill (WIFR) -- With balloons in tow and signs on the float,
or in this case wheel chair, Ken and Katie Rorheim’s 10-year-old
Siamese cat, Wilbert was his own parade’s grand marshal, as well
as its only participant.
"I invited everybody, they just couldn't make it," Ken joked.
Monday will be the first time Wilbert will have ever been away from the
Rorheim’s. Ken is having back surgery in Milwaukee so the couple
threw their cat his own two-block-parade to the boarding facility, Mostly
Cats in Loves Park.
"We're going to go see him in the penthouse,” said Ken. “It
was a $1 more so he can look out the window at the birds.”
"It was kind of a geriatric parade," added Katie.
The couple has been inseparable for 42 years and Katie assures 23 News
that a hospital room isn't going to change that.
"He can't get rid of me,” she teased. “I've been in every room
he's ever been in.”
“Yeah, we're kind of joined at the hip,” Ken agreed.
“Well, my hip is better than his but we're still joined there anyway," Katie
The Rorheim’s say the can’t wait until Wilbert can join them
again, and although they know he hated his parade with every irritated ‘Meow’ the
Rorheim’s hope Wilbert appreciated the gesture.
12, 2016 - "The last thing I would accuse a cat of
is innocence." - Edward Paley
Gratuitous Kittiness: Yawns are contagious.
Mewvie: Someone needed a friend.
Feline Art: "Psychedelic
Cat" By Louis Wain.
13, 2016 - "It is remarkable, in cats, that the outer
life they reveal to their masters is one of perpetual boredom." -
Robley Wilson, Jr.
Gratuitous Kittiness: Chillin' kitten.
Mewvie: Cat takes flying in stride.
Art: Marilyn Monroe and Mitsou.
hates being an indor cat. Tough beans, Rufus.
by Daniel Leal-Olivas
To Norman, our two-year-old chocolate lab, I’m the greatest thing
since kibble. But to Rufus the cat, I’m Oberstleutnant Klark, kommandant
of Stalag West 10th.
Due to a tragedy 13 years ago involving a speeding car, an open gate
and our delightful pug-schnauzer Sally, when Rufus and his sister joined
us, our still traumatized kids vowed they would be “indoor” creatures — fat,
bored and safe. The cats, I mean, not the kids.
Apparently, no one explained this to Rufus. If they did, he either didn’t
understand or disagreed in the quiet, slightly sociopathic way of cats.
He’s spent every waking moment since arriving in our home trying
to escape. After food and tormenting the dog, it is his life’s
So far, Rufus hasn’t come up with a plan as complicated as the
Great Escape, the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III by 76 British and
Commonwealth airmen in March 1944 involving tunnels. (Only three got
away and 50, including six Canadians, were murdered by the Gestapo as
a warning to others.) Nor are his plots as ingenious as the 1943 Wooden
Horse escape, also from Stalag Luft III.
Rufus’s attempts mostly involve hiding in shadows until he knows
I’m about to take Norman out the back door and then darting through
my legs and down the stairs to freedom. After he escaped that way about
29 times, I got smart and began looking for him before opening the door
and blocking him with my feet. It reduced his odds of escape by about
half, which forced him to find other ways out.
He’s squeezed through the broken screen on the front door when
we left it open to cool the house. I once caught him hanging from the
frame of the window above the kitchen sink, pondering if the 10-foot
plunge to the brambles below was worth it. Recently, he detected that
our youngest son had left the window over his bed ajar. He leaped to
the sill and slithered through venetian blinds, security bars and a small
gap in the window to freedom.
The first few times he escaped, we panicked, especially since we live
on a busy street and also on the dinner-theatre circuit of the UBC Endowment
Land coyotes. Neighbourhood lamp standards and telephone poles are plastered
with “have-you-seen Fluffy” posters — what my Uncle
Gordon calls “cat obituaries.”
Over time, we relaxed.
Rufus is an escape artist on par with Houdini, but he doesn’t have
a clue what to do once outside. The farthest he’s ventured was
across the lane, where we found him cowering under a bush. Generally,
when he escapes, he crouches down, chews on the nearest plant and waits
for us to pick him up. While cats are generally considered pretty cunning,
fortunately for us it hasn’t occurred to Rufus that if he ran,
we couldn’t catch him.
Like a compassionate warden giving a prisoner some yard time, I frequently
carry Rufus outside onto the back porch to smell the air and participate
in his favourite hobby, ornithology. I once made the mistake of thinking
he’d enjoy a trip in my arms to the back fence, but that was too
much. Suddenly, it was like I was holding a Cuisinart without a lid that
someone had switched on.
And since he’s never run away, I’ll admit that it’s
crossed my mind to let him be an outdoor cat, mostly out of guilt that
his life is boring. But I know it wouldn’t be right. Both the B.C.
SPCA and the American Humane Association strongly recommend keeping cats
“Cats who live outdoors are vulnerable to injuries from fighting, poisoning,
traffic accidents, contagious diseases and parasites, extreme weather, pet theft,
animal cruelty and can fall prey to wild animals,” says the B.C. SPCA website. “Roaming
cats also cause problems by digging in neighbours’ gardens, marking territory
by spraying and indiscriminately preying upon songbirds and other wildlife.”
While I’d be fine with Rufus catching any of the many rats who’ve
taken up residence in my shop, as someone who feeds birds, he’d
be risking death if he proudly dropped a chickadee or junco at my feet.
A 2013 Environment Canada study found that domestic and feral cats were
the top killer of birds in Canada, responsible for 196 million of 268
million deaths a year.
That settled it, Rufus. I don’t care if I have to be Oberstleutnant
Klark. Get used to the couch.
14, 2016 - "A cat is a puzzle for which there is no
solution." - Hazel Nicholson
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Yeah, I been workin' out."
Mewvie: "The Waltzing Cat" by Leroy Anderson.
Feline Art: "Happy Cat" by Louis Wain.
15, 2016 - "Do not meddle in the affairs of cats,
for they are subtle and will piss on your computer." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Mmmm, nummy cords."
Mewvie: Simon's Cat in "Laser Toy".
Art: Andy Warhol and cat.
food advice from Dr. Fox.
Dear Dr. Fox: I have adopted two 1-year-old rescue cats, and I am overwhelmed
by all of the conflicting advice one reads regarding cat food.
I am realistically not going to be able to make the food myself. I buy
premium-brand dry food; I feed them 1⁄4 cup in the morning before
I go to work, and then I give them another 1⁄4 cup plus half a
can of premium-brand wet food after work. I was buying grain-free only,
but my vet said that cats get grains in the wild—for example, they'll
eat birds that have grains in their stomachs, so the cats are also ingesting
the grains—so going completely grain-free is not necessary.
I stand in the pet food aisle completely confused by all the choices.
Should I switch them to wet food only? How much? Are there brands you
recommend?—M.K., Washington, D.C.
Dear M.K.: Your veterinarian is only half right—the amount of cereal
grains and cheap soy protein in far too many cat foods is very much more
than wild cats would ever consume if and when they eat the gut contents
of their prey. For more details, visit feline-nutrition.org.
Canned foods are generally low on cereals and better for cats than conventional
kibble. Look out for and avoid grain-free dry foods that are high in
other starches such as potato, pea flour and tapioca. Newman's Own canned
cat food has some organic ingredients now, and Wellness canned cat foods
are quite good. Dry Orijen cat food is acceptable, and I do like some
of the new generation freeze-dried and frozen cat foods available in
some pet stores.
I hope this helps, and yes, it is overwhelming when you go into a large
pet supply store and see all the different varieties of cat and dog food
to choose from, and it's confusing when veterinarians are still selling
biologically inappropriate pet foods, high in cereals and soy protein,
to their clients.