Cat Project Archives for February 13-17,
13, 2017 - "Cats look beyond appearances--beyond species
entirely, it seems--to peer into the heart." - Barbara
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Can we talk?"
Mewvie: A Simon's Cat Valentine's collection.
Feline Art: "Boy
with big orange cat"
by Frida Kaas.
name was Tammany
by Tammy La Gorce
Tammany, a cat who roamed City Hall in the 1930s, not only received a
reprieve, but also was said to have typed the letter seeking clemency
In 1930 or so, Mayor James J. Walker found Tammany, a grayish and white
tabby, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and brought him inside to
help catch rats, said Peggy Gavan, who runs The Hatching Cat website,
a forum that explores unusual animal tales of old New York. The cat was
named after Tammany Hall, the political machine that ruled City Hall.
Tammany was a particular favorite in Room No. 9, where the journalists
“ They would pose him for pictures there,” Ms. Gavan said. “And
there were stories about how he didn’t love the publicity, but he got great
press anyway. They adored him.”
Fiorello H. La Guardia, who became mayor in 1934, was anti-Tammany Hall
and took aim at just about every member of the old guard from City Hall.
Except for Tammany. A headline from the Jan. 6, 1934, edition of The
New York Sun reads, “City Hall Cat’s Job Safe Under La Guardia,” Ms.
Gavan said; there is an accompanying picture of the mayor and cat together.
Trouble arose in 1938 when Edward M. Markham, a commissioner of the Department
of Public Buildings, was said to have decided that City Hall was no place
for a cat, and sought to have Tammany evicted.
But a deputy mayor, Henry H. Curran, came to Tammany’s rescue,
writing a letter pleading for the cat’s clemency.
“ In it he wrote that Tammany was the wisest and bravest of all cats, and
that he had 50,000 friends in City Hall,” Ms. Gavan said. “He said
they’d put up a fight if he was evicted.”
Tammany was photographed perched behind a typewriter in Room No. 9, as
he was supposedly typing the deputy mayor’s letter.
Mr. Markham backed off.
Tammany continued to prowl the halls of City Hall until he was found
in pain on April 10, 1939, and was taken, under police escort, to an
animal hospital, Ms. Gavan reported. He died the next day.
On April 12, The New York Times wrote of the cat’s death: “Tammany’s
ancestors are unknown and his survivors are none. Tom Halton, night watchman,
and John Helmuth, night patrolman, seemed a bit lost at 5 o’clock
yesterday afternoon. For eight years that was the exact hour at which
they gave Tammany his dinner.”
14, 2017 - "Of all God's creatures, there is only
one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is
the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would
improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Yes, I heart you... now feed me."
Mewvie: More Simon's Cat Valentine's Day.
Feline Art: Happy Catentine's
15, 2017 - "I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats
look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Winston
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Happy birthday to meow."
Mewvie: A cat and mouse story.
Art: "Epic Cat fort", artist unknown.
are cats so weird about their water?
When it comes to drinking, most dogs aren't very picky. Slimy water bowl,
muddy puddle — even an open toilet bowl will do in a pinch.
But cats, on the other hand, are typically much more particular. Some
won't drink out of a water bowl if it's near their food bowl. Others
prefer a fountain or even the kitchen sink. Some picky kitties won't
sip from plastic or metal containers. Some of these preferences harken
back to their ancestors and survival instincts. But in some cases it's
just cats being ... well, cats.
Here's a look at the quirkiness of feline beverage preferences and what
you can do to make sure your kitty gets enough to drink.
You put a lovely, fresh bowl of water in front of your cat and it just
sits there untouched. But turn on the tap and your kitty laps up the
dripping water. There might be several reasons that your cat won't touch
unmoving water. Instinctively, your cat might know to be suspicious of
still water, realizing that stagnant water isn't always safe, veterinarian
Dr. Deb Greco tells VetStreet.
Their wild DNA tells them that still water can be contaminated, so they
know that running water is safer.
Another reason they might not like being hunched over a bowl is the precarious
position it puts them in.
“It’s hard for cats to get water, because they can’t really
see still water well, and they may feel vulnerable sitting at a bowl, especially
if it’s in a corner, so they have their back to other cats who might jump
on them,” Greco says.
The dripping or running water from the tap — or the swirling water
from a kitty recirculating water fountain — probably tastes better
too because it's cooler and oxygenated. Plus, the movement makes the
water more attractive, as you likely notice if your cat paws or splashes
at the water.
Some cats won't touch water if it's too close to their food bowl. The
theory is that in the wild, cats would keep their food far away from
water sources in order to keep those water sources free of bacteria and
other possible contamination. Keeping their food and water close can
risk pieces of food falling into their water when they eat. Cats also
have a strong sense of smell and many don't like smelling their food
when they drink.
Cats are very sensitive to taste, says cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett.
Be sure to refill your cat's bowl every day with fresh water or it will
taste stale to your cat, she suggests. Food and dirt can accumulate in
a water bowl, making your cat's daily beverage not only taste unpleasant,
but also become rife with bacteria. If your kitty plays in his water,
there's also the icky stuff from his paws (think litter box) that is
transferred into his water.
Clean your pet's bowl once a day with gentle soap and water. Be sure
to rinse thoroughly. Soap residue can taste bad and even burn your cat's
Because today's domestic cat evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors,
they have a low thirst drive, according to WebMD.
“We know that a cat’s sensitivity to thirst is blunted compared to
a dog,” Linda P. Case, M.S., author of "The Cat: Its Behavior, Nutrition,
and Health," tells the website. “They don't voluntarily drink water
like a dog would.” And because they don't drink enough and they naturally
produce very concentrated urine “we're setting them up for urinary tract
problems when their diet is low in liquids.”
The experts recommend preventing problems by feeding at least some canned
In the wild, cats eat prey like mice, which are made of about 70 percent
water, says Donna Solomon, D.V.M. Most canned foods contain at least
75 percent water, while dry foods contain only about 10 percent. Eating
canned food does the double duty of giving your cat nutrition while keeping
Cats fed canned food also have a lower risk of illnesses such as hyperthyroidism,
diabetes, constipation and obesity.
Cats have very sensitive whiskers. If a bowl is too narrow, your kitty
may have to unpleasantly squish her whiskers to get a drink. Try out
several different sizes and shapes to see which your pet seems to prefer.
You may also want to try bowls made out of different materials. It's
easiest to keep ceramic and stainless steel bowls clean, but often cats
seem to prefer shallow, glass bowls.
Cats can be fickle things. A little unexpected activity can keep them
away from their normal hangouts. That's why it's a good idea to have
water bowls in a few different spots throughout your home. Put them in
out-of-the-way places and other locations where she likes to spend a
lot of her time. Just make sure they're always clean and filled with
Make sure your cat's water bowls never gets too low or stay filled too
high. Cats are creatures of habit, says Johnson-Bennett, and they just
don't like change. Don't fill bowls to the tippy-top one day and then
let them get down to the dregs the next. "Some cats begin paw dipping
because they aren’t sure where the top of the water is on any given
day," she says. "Cats like consistency in their daily routine."
16, 2017 - "When Mother Nature saw fit to remove the
tail of the Manx, she left, in place of the tail, more
cat." - Mary E. Stewart
Gratuitous Kittiness: Such a pretty boy.
Mewvie: Cat saves the day!
Feline Art: "Monmon Cat" by Kazuaki Horitomo.
17, 2017 - "A cat sleeps fat, yet walks thin." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Behold the mighty Maine Coon!
Mewvie: Kedi, a new film about the cats of Turkey. (See
Feline Art: Cat art by Dorvile Davidonyte.
cats of Istanbul
by Kenneth turan
(See video above)
Kedi” means cat in Turkish. And while you don’t have to be
crazy about cats to enjoy this documentary, it would certainly help.
As that Turkish title indicates, “Kedi” is shot on the streets
of modern Istanbul, with director Ceyda Torun, who was born in the city,
and her intrepid cameraman and co-producer, Charlie Wuppermann, investigating
the antics of half a dozen or so frisky felines.
Street cats, unowned and on their own, have been a feature of Istanbul
life for uncounted centuries, and according to “Kedi” their
presence “embodies the indescribable chaos, the culture and the
uniqueness that is the essence of Istanbul. Without them, the city would
lose part of its soul.”
Torun intended the film as “a love letter to those cats and the
city.” And one of “Kedi’s” virtues is the picture
it provides of modern Istanbul, giving us a dawn-to-dusk tour of the
metropolis and showing us neighborhoods that feel very much like the
real, everyday Istanbul, not the tourist mecca we usually see.
Mostly, though, we see cats, engaging in all manner of species-appropriate
activities: running, foraging, harassing mice, crawling in and out of
tight spaces, accessing inaccessible ledges, taking cat naps, engaging
in cat fights, etc.
Though Wupperman, who filmed in Istanbul for two months, has done a remarkable
job getting down to cat level and following the animals around, even
using a bit of infra-red technology to follow one cat on the hunt for
a mouse, unless you are a devoted feline fancier the film’s brief
79-minute length will not seem too short.
Adding interest are the humans who, for a variety of reasons, both respect
and look after these animals, giving them their freedom but helping to
ensure that they don’t starve to death.
One woman admires cats because “they have the femininity that women
have lost,” while another says that a relationship with a cat is
like “being friends with an alien.”
Dogs think people are God, but cats don't. ... They just know better.
One man says that “people who don’t love animals can’t
love people either,” while another tells an elaborate story of
how a cat guided him to a lost wallet with just the amount of money he
needed for an essential repair.
Perhaps the most interesting response to cats was a theological one,
with one person offering the following analysis:
“Dogs think people are God, but cats don’t. Cats are aware of God’s
existence. Cats know that people act as middlemen to God’s will. They’re
not ungrateful, they just know better.”
Though all the cats have names, and some even get flattering close-ups,
the truth is that despite the protestations of the humans who insist
each particular animal has a distinctive personality, on camera they
all tend to run together after awhile.
By the time “Kedi” puts these animals through their paces,
only one essential question remains unanswered: Will the dogs of the
Dardanelles demand equal exposure? This could be a trend.