Cat Project Archives for September
26, 2016 - "My little grandson is a darling, but he
can never take the place of my cats." - Anonymous
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hey! These things must really work."
Mewvie: "Open the door and let me in."
Art: "The Cat's Lunch" by Marguerite Gerard.
instrumental part of cat scratch fever.
Think of the phrase “cat scratch fever,” and likely, it’s
followed by a guitar riff, thanks to Ted Nugent’s 1977 rock song.
But cat scratch disease is an actual illness, and the Centers for Disease
Control says the risk is real.
In fact, the agency recently alerted pet owners to the dangers of the
illness, noting that the impact is bigger than officials realized.
Now, let’s pause for a moment and consider cat ownership. With
kittens especially, scratching happens. The Humane Society notes that
kittens are all about play, and they love to “hunt,” even
stalking and pouncing on their humans — and that can involve biting
Any cat owner has probably been scratched a few times, be it in play,
while administering medication, taking the cat to the vet, or simply
because the cat wanted to notify someone that her food bowl was empty.
Stressed or anxious cats might inflict injuries upon their owners even
For humans, symptoms of cat scratch disease include fever, fatigue and
swollen lymph nodes. But in a small percentage of cases, the CDC reports
the illness can cause swelling of the brain or heart infections, which
can in turn be fatal.
The disease is caused by a bacterium, Bartonella henselea, the CDC reports,
which is spread among cats by the cat flea. Humans are infected when
they are scratched by an infected cat.
Officials note that most of those who experience severe symptoms have
compromised immune systems.
The CDC reports that comprehensive flea control for cats could help reduce
the risk of humans getting cat scratch disease. The agency also recommends
keeping cats indoors.
Another important action is to wash hands after any contact with a cat.
As with most health concerns, proper hand washing is a critical defense.
Pet owners tend to be pretty loyal to their pets, and we’re skeptical
that this report would dissuade people from owning a cat. However, if
it sparks people to take better care of their cats and to crack down
on fleas, that’s great news.
27, 2016 - "For me, one of the pleasures of cats'
company is their devotion to bodily comfort." - Sir
Gratuitous Kittiness: Always save a kitty for a rainy day.
Mewvie: Turtle attack.
Feline Art: "Tubby Cat"
by Svetlana Novikova.
28, 2016 - "Cats are smart. You know it and I know
it." - Debbie Mertens
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Oh, lord. Not again."
Mewvie: Up close and personal with a cougar.
Art: "Cat Heart" tattoo. Artist unknown.
Britain's oldest cat?
by Helena Horton
An abandoned cat, Banjo, is believed to be Britain's oldest feline.
He was found surviving alone by RSPCA Southall Cattery, who were shocked
by how old he appeared to be.
They believe he is 27 - which would make him the oldest cat in Britain
and 125 in human years.
His rescuers don't know why he was abandoned, as he was microchipped
in 1991, but it is remarkable he survived on the streets at such an advanced
They are now trying to find him a home so he can have a comfortable retirement.
"Banjo must have used up all of his nine lives by now," centre manager
Beverly Leavy said.
"He is such a charming, sweet old man, he is eating well and enjoying life
in the cattery."
The cattery has contacted Guinness Book of Records to confirm he is indeed
the oldest cat in Britain.
Aneel Odhwani, the animal care assistant who has been looking after Banjo,
said: "He’s friendly and laid back, very undemanding. He loves
his food and he loves being groomed – the ideal cat to rehome,
"We’ve had people asking on our Facebook page, 'How do you know old
old he is? Because he looks so young!'
"We don’t even know if the [previous] owners know his real age, he
could have any story."
People who work at the cattery contacted the number on his microchip,
but never received a response.
Luckily, they have found a home for him if he does not get claimed by
the end of the month.
Michelle Do Carmo, clinic manager, said: "For older cats we look
for a quiet home where they can relax and enjoy his retirement – somewhere
a bit more chilled out and quiet".
She didn't know why someone would abandon such an elderly cat.
"It could be a number of reasons, as everyone has got different backgrounds",
"Most of the time it’s money issues or they’ve got evicted or
are moving home."
29, 2016 - "Cats are living adornments." - Edwin
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Rapture! Bliss!"
Mewvie: "My food! MINE!"
Feline Art: "A cat study in black-and-white". Artist
30, 2016 - "Don't think that I'm silly for liking
it, I just happen to like the simple little things, and
I love cats!" - Michelle Gardner
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Sorry, I haven't a square to spare."
Mewvie: The Cat Man of Aleppo (See story below)
Art: "Two Cats Waking Up". Artist unknown.
Man Stays to Care For Stray and Abandoned Cats
SYRIA – Each morning, Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel drives to the local
butcher shop and purchases $2.50 worth of meat scraps. On good days,
the sympathetic proprietor will give Aljaleel a bit of a discount or
even throw in some bits and bones for free. Along with everyone else
in this part of Aleppo, Syria, the butcher knows Aljaleel isn’t
purchasing the meat to eat himself but for 150 street cats—most
of them former pets abandoned when their owners fled the city or were
In the years since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, Aljaleel became
his hometown’s unofficial feline caretaker. Shortly after the crisis
began, the former electrician had an opportunity to take his wife and
three children to Turkey, where he had a promise of working as a mechanic.
But along with his family, he chose to stay behind to help those less
fortunate than himself, not just people but also animals.
“I regard animals and humans in the same light,” he says. “All
of them suffer pain, and all of them deserve compassion.”
As a lifelong cat lover, Aljaleel first noticed a few strays hanging
around the rubble of a home destroyed by an airstrike. He somehow felt
compelled to feed them. Soon five animals turned into 10, then 20—as
he says, “cats always find out when there’s food around.”
He estimates now he feeds about 150 cats today Thirty of the cats now
have names, including his favorite, Zorro the Noble.
“It brings the kids so much joy to play with them,” Aljaleel says. “I
take great pride in the work I’m doing.”
Some might argue that Aljaleel’s time and resources would be better
spent helping human victims of war. But the randomly few individuals
and organizations that work with pets and other animals caught up in
conflict zones firmly believe their efforts are more than worthwhile.
Helping animals, they point out, helps people. Farmers’ livelihoods
may be wrapped up in their livestock, while cats and dogs are often beloved
members of the family. Many refugees have walked over 300 miles with
their dogs or taken kittens aboard rafts headed for Greece.
As for the cats of Aleppo, their future is uncertain as is the future
“Every day, when I leave my house, I know I might not return,” he
says. “In Syria, it’s only going from bad to worse.” Yet despite
the escalating violence, he has no plans to leave or give up on the cats. Instead,
he has aspirations of opening his own animal shelter and hospital. “I’m
aware that other countries have lots more resources for animals, but here we
don’t even have many good doctors, let alone veterinarians,” he says. “Although
there is no such thing as animal shelters in Syria now, I dream of building one.”