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Infinite Cat Project Archives for July 18-22, 2016.

Mewsings: July 18, 2016 - "Civilization is defined by the presence of cats." - Unknown

feral cat friends

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Feral friends.

Cat Mewvie: Chicks dig the kitties.

cat on keyboard

Today's Kitty Komic

cats by louis wain

Feline Street Art: "Kittens" By Louis Wain.

homeless with cat

Canadian agency helps homeless pet owners.
by Aiden Cox

Irene Gyurcsak sat at a table with her daughter on Saturday as a veterinarian and two vet students did a physical checkup on their cat, Gizzie.

A clinic run by the Community Veterinary Outreach program provides medical care once every two months to the pets of low-income and homeless people.

On top of the regular checkup, two-year-old Gizzie received a vaccine, an implanted radio-frequency identification chip, an appointment to get spayed and a few bags of cat food. The things covered in the appointment would normally set a pet owner back about $600.

"Financially, it helps me out a lot because other than that I don’t think I would be able to have animals if it wasn’t for this non-profit organization," Gyurcsak said. "It's more than $65 for a visit — just to say hi to a vet, plus all the other shots."

Her seven-year-old daughter, Makayla, sat watching closely as Michelle Lem, a vet and the organization's founder, tucked a stethoscope under Gizzie's chest to check on her heartbeat.

"Most of the animals we see at this clinic are very healthy. I think one of the misconceptions is that the animals are not as well taken care of," Lem said.

"For most of our clients, the pets are more important to them because they don’t have other family, so they’ll put the animal's needs over their own."

Steven Merrick had his two cats — Lacey and Sam — in with him for their shots and checkups.

"It's definitely a relief that there are people out there caring for other people's animals," said the 30-year-old.

Merrick said he was able to afford to get Lacey spayed 12 years ago while he was still working. However, as a result of mental-health problems, he's been unable to work for about a decade and now depends on Ontario Disability Support Program payments.

"I just can't afford all the stuff that (the pets) need to have done," he said.

The clinic is staffed almost completely by volunteers who work during the week as vets, students or vet technicians, Lem said.

"The vets are usually working five days a week, and the reason they come in is because these clients are so grateful for what we do," she said. "It's very different in private practice. Here, all our clients recognize that we are volunteers and are so grateful."

Saturday's clinic was housed at the Ottawa Salus Corporation on Scott Street and a total of 25 clients brought in 29 cats for treatment.

Anyone interested in using Community Veterinary Outreach's services or making a donation can visit

Mewsings: July 19, 2016 - "Could the purr be anything but contemplative?" - Irving Townsend

big orange cat sleeping

Gratuitous Kittiness: Orange at rest.

Cat Mewvie: How to use the toilet.

cat with a human head

Today's Kitty Komic

grumpy cat lion king

Feline Art: Comedy cat art.

Mewsings: July 20, 2016 - "No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens."
- Abraham Lincoln

sick kitten

Gratuitous Kittiness: The kitten patient.

Cat Mewvie: The "Hidden Kitten" trick.

cats help you sleep

Today's Kitty Komic

pablo picasso and cat

Feline Art: Pablo Picasso and cat.

indoor rufus

Rufus hates being an indoor 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 mission.

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 indoors.

“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.

Mewsings: July 21, 2016 - "A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution." - Hazel Nicholson

four cats watching owner

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I think we're being watched."

Cat Mewvie: Trailer for "Fritz the Cat". (Kinda racy stuff.)

who wants to hold babies when there's a kitty

Today's Kitty Komic

flower eyes by Louis Wain

Feline Art: "Flower Eyes" by Louis Wain.

Mewsings: July 22, 2016 - "The mathematical probability of a common cat doing exactly as it pleases is the one scientific absolute in the world." - Lynn M. Osband

cat in red bow tie

Gratuitous Kittiness: "One must always lick one's best, now musn't one?"

Cat Mewvie: Kitten meet s a new friend.

your future is full of cats

Today's Kitty Komic

joe who cat tattoo

Feline Art: Amazing cat tat by Joe Who.

movie cat

Cat video festival coming to Dallas.
by Caroline North

The internet is populated with videos of all kinds of cute animals, but it's no secret that the cat is king. The very first cat video, of a cat playing with a piece of a rope, was posted by one of YouTube's founders to the site in 2005, and cat videos have been going viral ever since. As of last year there were more than 2 million such videos on YouTube, and their average view count exceeds that of any other type of content YouTube hosts.

Since 2012, the internet's unofficial mascot has even had its own film festival. The Internet Cat Video Festival was started by Minneapolis' Walker Art Center, and the selection of videos curated for the final festival last August is on an international tour that will conclude in Dallas on August 24 with an event produced by the Video Association of Dallas at the Texas Theatre.

The festival, which started in Japan in January and will have made 29 stops by the time it arrives here, is intended to celebrate a history that goes back way farther than the early aughts. Thomas Edison filmed two cats boxing in 1894, and the release announcing the Texas Theatre cites The Private Life of a Cat by Maya Deren, an experimental filmmaker of the '40s and '50s, as inspiration.

The Walker's presentation features over 100 cat videos. Some are funny, some are cute, some are serious and some are even animated. The picking was done by Will Braden, director of "Henri, Le Chat Noir," a popular web series about an existentialist kitty. With so many different videos, you'll almost certainly see something new, but the Walker's site for the festival says it's not so much about seeing new videos as it is enjoying familiar ones in the company of friends.

The Internet Cat Video Festival's stop in Dallas will also have a local touch thanks to Bart Weiss, founder of Video Association of Dallas, artistic director of Dallas VideoFest and, most important, dad to four felines. He's asking Dallasites to submit videos between 30 seconds and three minutes of their cats to share the screen in August. Information on how to enter can be found here.

If you don't want to go to all of the effort of making or submitting a video, you can also just post a photo of your cat to Dallas VideoFest's Facebook page with the hashtag #DFWCatVidFest. The person whose photo gets the most likes will win a prize. Local kitties will also be winners since a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to animal shelter Operation Kindness.

Opportunities like this one to pay it forward and get an emotional buzz off of some cuddly animals are sorely needed right now, as Weiss points out in the press release announcing the festival. "There is something special about viewing our wise four-legged friends, to calm us from the visual aural and political noise around us," he says.


The Infinite Cat Project
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