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Infinite Cat Project Archives for September 19-23, 2016.

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

cat in plastic bag

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Yeah, I like to live dangerously."

Cat Mewvie: Spay and neuter your little fuzzy friends.

death cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

vintage cat jump-rope picture

Feline Art: Decorate with cats.

cats heal our bodies

Four 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 percent.

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 way.

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 an injury.

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 healing.

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.

Mewsings: September 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 Amoryl

tiny kitten with big ears

Gratuitous Kittiness: A fuzzy little foundling.

Cat Mewvie: Now THAT'S cat food.

cats and dogs are safer than other animals

Today's Kitty Komic

cat art by kerem beyit

Feline Art: A bookcover by illustrator Kerem Beyit.

Mewsings: September 21, 2016 - "When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?" - Montaigne

kitten heads sticking out of box

Gratuitous Kittiness: Kittens, better by the box.

Cat Mewvie: Helping in the garden.

the many faces of a cat

Today's Kitty Komic

cat blanket on couch

Feline Art: "Freidakat" by Britt Ehringer.

the cats of 10 downing street

The 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 Office.

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 vermin problem.

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 Street.

And last month the Chief Whip’s office said it was getting its own mouser Cromwell, which would bring the feline population along Whitehall to four.

Mewsings: September 22, 2016 - "People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around."
- Susan Easterly

cat under table

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Pssst! Pass the meatballs."

Cat Mewvie: Elephant butt! Elephant buttt! Elephant butt!

cat gargling with mousewash

Today's Kitty Komic

steampunk cat by nosoart

Feline Art: "Steampunk Cat" by Nosoart.

Mewsings: September 23, 2016 - "There is no more intrepid explorer than a kitten."
- Jules Champfleury

cat under dresser

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hey! I think I found Jimmy Hoffa!"

Cat Mewvie: Everyone loves a nice, warm, snuggly kitten.

cat comic cats eat birds

Today's Kitty Komic

meawbin by cotton valent

Feline Art: "Meawbin" by Cotton Valent.

viking cat

The 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 and Vikings.

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.


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