Cat Project Archives for September
12, 2016 - "An ordinary kitten will ask more questions
than any five-year-old boy."
- Carl Van Vechten
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hi, I'm Fluffy, and I'm fluffy."
Mewvie: "Hi, Mom! I'm on TV!"
Street Art: Turn-of-the-century photographers were kinda creepy.
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
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
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
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.
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
"I would like to see a time when people have a compassion for everyone,
human and otherwise," Anastasopoulos said.
13, 2016 - "The constant challenge to decipher feline
behavior is perhaps one of the most fascinating qualities
of owning a cat." - Carole Wilbourn
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Dude, this catnip smells really funny."
Mewvie: This cat's for the birds.
Feline Art: Poster to
promote summer reading.
14, 2016 - "Cats Are Not impure; they keep watch about
- The Prophet Mohammed
Gratuitous Kittiness: Yes, every cat owns one of these.
Mewvie: Cats everywhere! (See news story below.)
Art: The perfect furless couch cat.
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
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
The brains behind Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (or CATS) is
Glimpse, a new collective with a very simple aim: use creativity for
"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."
15, 2016 - "Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe
they are God."
- Jeff Valdez
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Oh, crap! That's not decaf!"
Mewvie: Cats love those German weathermen.
Feline Art: Anonymous country cats.
16, 2016 - "You can not look at a sleeping cat and
feel tense." - Jane Pauley
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."
Mewvie: It's old "Elephant Butt" himself.
Street Art: Painting by Casey Weldon.
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
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!”