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Infinite Cat Project Archives for September 12-16, 2016.

Mewsings: September 12, 2016 - "An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five-year-old boy."
- Carl Van Vechten

big fluffy cat

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hi, I'm Fluffy, and I'm fluffy."

Cat Mewvie: "Hi, Mom! I'm on TV!"

cat is so alone

Today's Kitty Komic

vintage cat jump-rope picture

Feline Street Art: Turn-of-the-century photographers were kinda creepy.

montreal cat lovers

Montrealers build 70 winter shelters for stray cats
By Kalina LaFramboise

Fall temperatures haven't arrived yet, but a group of Montrealers is working to help feral cats survive the coming winter. In an effort to curb the city's overpopulation of cats, volunteers collaborate with the Montreal SPCA's sterilization project across nine municipalities and boroughs.

Trap, Neuter, Release and Maintain relies heavily on volunteers to help trap strays and then look after them after they are sterilized.

For Vanessa Anastasopoulos, it's a way to stop overpopulation while ensuring cats that are too feral to be adopted or socialized still lead happy and healthy lives.

"I spend about 25 hours a week as a volunteer doing this outside of my full-time job," Anastasopoulos said. "I don't do other things with my spare time."

Every year, Anastasopoulos welcomes volunteers into her Plateau Mont-Royal home for an afternoon party where they assemble dozens of winter shelters made from white Styrofoam boxes.

The boxes are donated by a Montreal oncologist and Anastasopoulos purchases the other materials with her own money.

The shelters are lined with Mylar for insulation to provide a warm environment and covered with plastic on the outside to help protect against winter elements.

The event attracts neighbours, friends and sometimes complete strangers dedicated to helping homeless cats.

"I am happy that we will build 70 shelters and I hope we don't run out this year but if we do we'll just build more next year. We do every year," Anastasopoulos said.

Strays can seek refuge inside and the small cut out door is covered with a flap so they are protected from ice, rain and snow.

"The Montreal weather is awful in the winter so you can imagine cats being alone at night in the cold," said Véronique Lanteigne, who has volunteered alongside Anastasopoulos for five years.

"Even with the shelter I am quite surprised they do survive."
Once completed, the shelters are placed on private properties before the snow comes.

Aside from building winter shelters, volunteers give their time and money to tend to cats who live out their lives on the street.

They provide food, foot bills for unexpected visits to the veterinarian and help find foster homes for abandoned litters.

Anastasopoulos cares for cats mostly in the Plateau and Rosemont boroughs. The SPCA's project, implemented in 2010, has resulted in the sterilization of about 1,000 cats, but she says overpopulation remains rampant.

"We're probably caring for about 70 cats a day so that's a lot of cat food," she said. "It's all out of our own pockets."

Terreur was a feral cat that was successfully socialized by volunteers. (Kalina Laframboise/CBC)
Two organizations collect donations and provide dry cat food to Anastasopoulos and the group of volunteers, but she hopes more Montrealers will want to help, whether that's by caring for feral cats or fostering abandoned kittens.

"I would like to see a time when people have a compassion for everyone, human and otherwise," Anastasopoulos said.

Mewsings: September 13, 2016 - "The constant challenge to decipher feline behavior is perhaps one of the most fascinating qualities of owning a cat." - Carole Wilbourn

kitten in a rolling box

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Dude, this catnip smells really funny."

Cat Mewvie: This cat's for the birds.

cat stares at people having sex

Today's Kitty Komic

fingernails decorated to look like cats

Feline Art: Poster to promote summer reading.

Mewsings: September 14, 2016 - "Cats Are Not impure; they keep watch about us."
- The Prophet Mohammed

cat with fucker-in-charge sign

Gratuitous Kittiness: Yes, every cat owns one of these.

Cat Mewvie: Cats everywhere! (See news story below.)

cat pondering if things bounce

Today's Kitty Komic

cat blanket on couch

Feline Art: The perfect furless couch cat.

cats in subway ads

London subway ads replaced by pictures of cats
By Mahatir Pasha

If your dog travels with you, it might be better to avoid Clapham Common Tube station for the next couple of weeks.

The London subway station is overrun with cats.

They are everywhere -- staring at you with their steely cat eyes from giant posters on the wall and from stick-ons on turnstiles.

It's part of a crowdfunded campaign to replace all ads with pictures of kitties.

The campaign, which began Monday, raised more than £20,000 ($26,000) to make 68 ads at the station disappear. In their place are photos of stray cats from two rescue groups, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Cats Protection.

The brains behind Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (or CATS) is Glimpse, a new collective with a very simple aim: use creativity for good.

"We tried to imagine a world where public spaces made you feel good," Glimpse founder James Turner said.

"Instead of asking you to buy something, we're asking you to think about what's really valuable in your life. It might not be cats, but it's probably something you can't find in the shops."

Battersea, the rescue group whose cats are among the stars of the campaign, hopes the publicity will result in some adoptions.

"We care for over 3,000 rescue cats a year," Lindsey Quinlan, Battersea's head of catteries, said. "So hopefully this campaign will encourage lots more people to visit our centers and consider re-homing our fantastic felines."

Mewsings: September 15, 2016 - "Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God."
- Jeff Valdez

sleeping cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Oh, crap! That's not decaf!"

Cat Mewvie: Cats love those German weathermen.

cat gargling with mousewash

Today's Kitty Komic

country cat pictures

Feline Art: Anonymous country cats.

Mewsings: September 16, 2016 - "You can not look at a sleeping cat and feel tense." - Jane Pauley

big fluffy cat

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hi, I'm Dora. I'm a stray who was born without eyelids.
  I just had surgery that will save my eyesight."

Cat Mewvie: It's old "Elephant Butt" himself.

catwoman comic

Today's Kitty Komic

caseyt weldon cat painting

Feline Street Art: Painting by Casey Weldon.

cat news

Meet Etti-Cat, NYC’s Feline Subway Etiquette Advisor of the 1960s
By Allison Meier

In the 1960s, New York City commuters were prodded into respectful behavior by subway posters featuring a black-and-white tuxedo cat. “Etti-Cat,” the punnily named feline mascot for manners, warned against littering, encouraged offering seats to the elderly, and expressed loquacious shame at defacing the trains:

It was real wild scribbling over the subway walls & cars but, in objective & realistic retrospect & in full evaluation of the initial impact & the effect of the regretful consequences, it would seem that the entire action was motivated rather imprudently &, truthfully, in recalling the whole stupid mess, I feel real dopey about it, I’m sorry & I’ll never do it again.

The humble ramble is punctuated by the emphatic, “ACT YOUR AGE ~ PLEASE!” This poster, along with others featuring Etti-Cat, is included in Transit Etiquette Or: How I Learned To Stop Spitting And Step Aside In 25 Languages, currently on view in the Grand Central Gallery Annex of the New York Transit Museum. The institution has also long displayed the Etti-Cat posters among its vintage advertisements in the historical train cars parked in its main museum, which is housed in the disused Court Street subway station in Brooklyn.

The posters “were introduced in 1962 and were placed in almost 3,000 of the Transit Authority’s 6,500 subway cars at the time so they were hard to miss,” Chelsea Newburg of the Transit Museum told Hyperallergic. Newburg also shared a June 26, 1962, New York Times article titled “Etti-Cat to Spur Subway Eti-quette,” in which a reporter asks a spokesperson for more details on the real feline behind Etti-Cat and gets a coy response: “If Etti-Cat is adopted by the public he will hold a news conference for the pet so that riders can learn more about the new subway mascot.”

Alas, it’s unclear if such a press conference ever took place. There was, however, a very real cat behind the campaign. The “JOM” initials at the bottom right corner of the posters stand for writer and artist Jo Mary McCormick, whose obliging model was a cat named Pipsqueak (or Pippy). Her photographs and text replaced earlier subway posters by Amelia Opdyke-Jones, aka “Oppy,” that had cartoon men in fedoras and ladies in long skirts glaring at litterbugs and seat hogs.

McCormick seemed to delight in Etti-Cat as a public figure. In 1964, she sent a letter offering condolences on the death of Peter III, the official Home Office cat in residence with the British government, and the next year authored a picture book called Etti-cat: The courtesy cat. The cover featured Etti-Cat as the American ambassador to the United Nations, while the text counseled readers on a broader range of manners beyond the rails. You can find scans from the interior at the feline-friendly blog Mew Mew Munchy Toe; they show Etti-cat advising readers not to stare and demonstrating how to graciously accept an ice cream cone.

Thanks to the display at the Transit Museum, as well as our abiding love of personified cats, Etti-Cat lives on as a retro meme, helped along by posts like Jen Carlson’s last year on Gothamist. Compared to the dry, blank-faced figures of today’s subway etiquette posters, the Etti-Cat visuals do have way more purr-sonality and much more playful language. But of his enduring fame, the modest Etti-Cat might have bared his teeth and mewed: “I’m flabbergasted!”


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