Cat Project Archives for July 18-22,
18, 2016 - "Civilization is defined by the presence
of cats." - Unknown
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Feral friends.
Mewvie: Chicks dig the kitties.
Street Art: "Kittens" By Louis Wain.
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
"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
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
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 vetoutreach.org.
19, 2016 - "Could the purr be anything but contemplative?" -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Orange at rest.
Mewvie: How to use the toilet.
Feline Art: Comedy cat
20, 2016 - "No matter how much cats fight, there always
seems to be plenty of kittens."
- Abraham Lincoln
Gratuitous Kittiness: The kitten patient.
Mewvie: The "Hidden Kitten" trick.
Art: Pablo Picasso and cat.
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
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.
21, 2016 - "A cat is a puzzle for which there is no
solution." - Hazel Nicholson
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I think we're being watched."
Mewvie: Trailer for "Fritz the Cat". (Kinda
Feline Art: "Flower Eyes" by Louis Wain.
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
Gratuitous Kittiness: "One must always lick one's
best, now musn't one?"
Mewvie: Kitten meet s a new friend.
Art: Amazing cat tat by Joe Who.
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
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
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.