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: "Yeah, I like to live dangerously."
Mewvie: Spay and neuter your little fuzzy friends.
Art: Decorate with cats.
ways cats help heal our bodies
By Lauren Bowen
Cats are amazing creatures. They can drink seawater if they want to,
they have patterns on their noses that are as unique as a fingerprint
and even have a third eyelid.
Cats also heal us (as if we needed more of a reason to love them) in
ways that sometimes feel ‘out of this world.’ They’re
mere presence lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, helping us to deal
with stress in healthy ways without even thinking about it.
Cats are affectionate and nurturing creatures with keen ways of caring
for those around them—so much so that some studies show owning
a cat can actually increase your lifespan by a few years.
Here are a few more amazing and mysterious ways that cats heal our bodies:
Cats may reduce heart attack risk by 30-40
In 2009, a long-term study by neurologist Adnan Qureshi of the University
of Minnesota Stroke Institute discovered that non-cat owners were 30-40
percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who were
from cat families. Companionship, love and stress reduction goes a long
A cat’s purr can actually mend bones.
For ages people have wondered why cats purr. While most of the time we
assume purring is simply an expression of happiness, cats have also been
observed purring while in stressful situations or when recovering from
While it’s still under some debate, scientists have largely demonstrated
that a cat’s purr—found at a frequency between 25 and 150
Hertz—is at such a level that it can actually soothe and heal bones
and muscles. This vibration of energy can improve bone density loss and
even speed up muscle growth after atrophy.
Cats support emotional well-being and help
us cope with stress.
Everyone knows that cat videos are some of the greatest gems on the internet.
Laughing with your kitty or just petting them and having them around,
actually strengthens your immune system, slows your heart beat to a state
of calm and reduces blood pressure. Treasure the moments you have snuggling
your pet and feel the stress just melt away.
Cats can signal impending distress and nurture emotional and physical
Cats seem to have a ’6th sense’ when it comes to knowing
if something is wrong or if you’re feeling unwell. There are unending
accounts of people who’ve experienced trauma finding comfort and
strength in the companionship of their pet. Their sense is so keen that
often cats can signal some impending attack or injury before it happens!
Here is an account of a family cat saving a young, epileptic man’s
life during a seizure.
There are a million reasons to love these sweet animals and the ways
that they love us and care for us and keep us company.
20, 2016 - "As anyone who has ever been around a cat
for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience
with the limitations of the human mind." - Cleveland
Gratuitous Kittiness: A fuzzy little foundling.
Mewvie: Now THAT'S cat food.
Feline Art: A bookcover
by illustrator Kerem Beyit.
21, 2016 - "When I play with my cat, who knows if
I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?" -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Kittens, better by the box.
Mewvie: Helping in the garden.
Art: "Freidakat" by Britt Ehringer.
cats of 10 Downing Street
By Alain Tolhurst
Larry the Downing Street Cat is being forced to live on handouts after
it was revealed the Government didn’t pay for his vet bills.
When the Number 10 moggie was wounded in a fight with Palmerston in July,
the Foreign Office’s resident feline, staff dipped into their own
pockets to cover the costs of him being patched up.
It came after he tussled with Palmerston the Foreign Office cat.
A former Conservative environment minister has suggested the civil servants
be reimbursed for the cost of treating the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet
Lord Blencathra submitted a formal question to the Government asking
why the upkeep of Larry was funded by staff.
The peer, who served in John Major’s government, asked what systems
have the government put in place: “To ensure that there is proper
routine and emergency veterinary treatment for government cats, and any
other officially owned animals in government service?”
But the government insisted officials were happy to pay for the former
rescue cat’s bills because they were so in love with him.
Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen, the government’s spokesman in the
Lords, said: “The costs were met by staff through voluntary staff
donations due to their affection for Larry.
“There was no compulsion to donate and no refunds have been requested.
The remaining funds will contribute towards the future upkeep of the Chief Mouser.”
It comes as Larry is facing a threat to his title as Britain’s
most famous political cat from rival departmental felines.
He was recruited from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home under David Cameron’s
regime to catch Downing Street’s mice in 2011.
As well as rumours that the Prime Minister didn’t get on with the
cat, he faced accusations he was lazy and failed to tackle Number 10’s
But there is a new top cat in town with the Foreign Office cat Palmerston
Palmerston, known as ‘diplomog’, took up his post as resident
mouser of the Foreign Office in April and the pair have repeatedly clashed,
being caught on camera in a stand-off in the street.
In July this year, Larry required treatment for an injured paw, which
was believed to have come after brawling with the black and white tom.
The Treasury has also hired a new cat, named Gladstone, further side-line
Larry, who was often pictured sleeping in the street outside Downing
And last month the Chief Whip’s office said it was getting its
own mouser Cromwell, which would bring the feline population along Whitehall
22, 2016 - "People who love cats have some of the
biggest hearts around."
- Susan Easterly
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Pssst! Pass the meatballs."
23, 2016 - "There is no more intrepid explorer than
- Jules Champfleury
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hey! I think I found Jimmy Hoffa!"
Mewvie: Everyone loves a nice, warm, snuggly kitten.
Art: "Meawbin" by Cotton Valent.
Vikings liked cats, too.
By Stephanie Pappas
The early origins of domesticated cats are shrouded in mystery, but a
new genetic analysis suggests that felines traveled the world with farmers
The News section of Nature reports that the broadest genetic analysis
to date of ancient cats reveals two waves of cat expansion. In the first
wave, cats spread from the Middle East into the eastern Mediterranean,
alongside human farmers. The second wave of expansion started in Egypt — where
cats had religious significance and were often mummified — and
spread by sea to Eurasia and Africa.
These discoveries come courtesy a study of the mitochondrial DNA of 209
ancient cats whose remains were preserved at archaeological sites. Mitochondrial
DNA is passed down through the maternal line and is separate from the
nuclear DNA that comes from both parents. The research was presented
at the 7th International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology, which
took place between Sept. 14 and Sept. 16 at the Oxford University Museum
of Natural History.
A lack of funding has caused research on cat domestication to lag behind
research on dog domestication, study researcher Eva-Maria Geigl, an evolutionary
geneticist at the Institut Jacques Monod in France, told Nature. Archaeological
evidence suggests that cats and humans started to interact around the
dawn of agriculture. In 2004, researchers reported in the journal Science
that they'd discovered a human and a cat buried together on the island
of Cyprus. The burial dated back 9,500 years. Prior to that discovery,
researchers had thought that cats had been domesticated in Egypt about
4,000 years ago — though the discovery of two cats and four kittens
in an animal burial ground in the Upper Egypt city of Hierakonpolis in
2014 suggests the existence of some sort of cat husbandry in Egypt 2,000
years before that.
Villagers in China may have domesticated cats about 5,300 years ago,
researchers reported in 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences. Based on a few bones, the scientists found that
the cats ate a diet that was heavy in millet — or, more likely,
that they ate a diet heavy in rodents that ate a lot of millet. This
dietary information meshes with the theory that cats were drawn to early
agricultural settlements by a plethora of prey. Humans would have encouraged
the feline infiltration because cats got rid of rodent pests.
According to Nature, the new research finds that the second wave of cat
population expansion took place thousands of years after the first, from
the fourth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. Mitochondrial DNA
from Egyptian cats was found as far away as northern Germany at a Viking
site dating to between A.D. 700 and A.D. 1000, Geigl told Nature. These
seafaring sorts probably kept cats on their ships to discourage mice
and rats, she said.
Geigl hopes to sequence the nuclear DNA of ancient cats as well, but
she and her team found one additional bit of feline trivia from the mitochondrial
DNA efforts: The mutation responsible for the patchy coats of tabby cats
didn't occur until Medieval times.