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Infinite Cat Project Archives for June 19-23, 2017.

Mewsings: June 19, 2017 - "Cats look beyond appearances--beyond species entirely, it seems--to peer into the heart." - Barbara L. Diamond

cat with nine kittens

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Kittenpalooza!"

Cat Mewvie: "Help. Please."

cat that like water comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat on heart by sue ellen brown

Feline Art: "Cat" by Emi Lenox

cat news

How Cats conquered the Ancient world
by Helen Briggs

The domestic cat is descended from wild cats that were tamed twice - in the Near East and then Egypt, according to the largest study of its kind.

Farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats about 9,000 years ago.

Then, a few thousand years later, cats spread out of ancient Egypt along maritime trade routes.
Today, cats live on all continents except Antarctica.

Scientists think wildcats began hanging around farms to prey on mice attracted to grain stores, starting the long relationship between humans and felines.

"There were two taming events - one in the Near East at the beginning and one in Egypt much later," said lead researcher Eva-Maria Geigl.

"And then the cat spread very efficiently all over the ancient world as a ship's cat. Both lineages are now present in modern cats."

Cats haven't always been lazy creatures, lounging around the house.
They spent thousands of years working as rat catchers on ships and farms, before becoming fully domesticated.

"I would say cats chose human company, but it was a commensal relationship - it was profitable to both sides," explained Dr Geigl, of Institut Jacques Monod in Paris.

In the study, researchers extracted mitochondrial DNA (which is passed down the maternal line) from more than 200 ancient cat remains that came from Viking graves, Egyptian mummies and Stone Age sites.

DNA evidence shows cat domestication began about 9,000 years ago in the Near East, where farming started. Farmers were probably the first people to tame wild cats and then take them on their travels, either accidently or deliberately.

A second wave of cat domestication happened in ancient Egypt. Cats spread to Europe during the Roman era and went even further during the Viking period. Egyptian cat DNA was even found in a Viking port, suggesting cats were carried on maritime trading routes to northern Europe.
Surprisingly, perhaps, tabby cats appeared only in the Middle Ages. DNA evidence suggests the gene mutation that causes blotched markings appeared in a cat in western Turkey in the 14th Century.
Over the next few hundred years, tabbies spread around the world, as cats became prized for their beauty rather than utilitarian skills.

"There was very little breeding and selection going on in cats up the 19th Century, in contrast with dogs," said Dr Geigl. "The cat was useful from the very beginning - it didn't have to be changed."

Today, there are many breeds of cats with different markings and coats. They include exotic breeds, from the Bambino (a hairless short cat) to the Cornish Rex (with a curly coat and Whippet-like body).

Mewsings: June 20, 2017 - "Cats conspire to keep us at arm's length." - Frank Perkins

cat with many baby bunnies

Gratuitous Kittiness: Bunny fun.

Cat Mewvie: "The Kibble Wars."

4 kinds of cats comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat with blue eyes painting

Feline Art: "Cat" by Svetlana Novikova

Mewsings: June 21, 2017 - "When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she to me?" - Montaigne

cat and family portrait

Gratuitous Kittiness: Nothing says family like a family purr-trait.

Cat Mewvie: Just fur fun.

introvert cats

Today's Kitty Komic

origami cat

Feline Art: Origami cat.

cat news

Going to great lengths to save kitty.
by Ashitha Nagesh

An extremely dedicated RSPCA inspector spent four hours rescuing a cat that got stuck eight feet up a chimney.

Matt Brown, pictured covered in soot, worked with Merseyside Fire Service to free Lola from the smokestack.

Hundreds gather for Finsbury Park vigil urging 'stop the hate and start talking to people'
Lola’s worried owner initially thought she had gone missing when she didn’t come home for four days.

However, when she heard mewing coming from inside the walls of her home in Merseyside, she realised Lola was stuck.

It’s believed the kitty, feeling timid after being adopted into a new home, had been looking for a place to hide behind the fireplace.

Rescuers first climbed onto the roof where they poked rods down the chimney, in order to see if they could free her that way. When that failed they removed the fireplace and coaxed her down using long poles.

‘ We got the call at 8.30am and we finally managed to free her at 12.30pm,’ Matt said.

‘ By the time we got her out, we were completely covered in soot – but getting her safely freed was worth a dirty uniform! She came out looking bedraggled and dazed.

‘Lola had been trapped up there for four days. Her owner initially thought she had gone missing – but it wasn’t until she heard her crying that she realised she was inside the chimney.’

The kitty was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital, where she will be checked over, microchipped and neutered before returning to her new home.

Mewsings: June 22, 2017 - "You never saw such a crazy cat. 'Up the wall' took on a literal meaning."
- Arnold Hano

kitten in a cup

Gratuitous Kittiness: Nuttin' like a cool cup o' kitten.

Cat Mewvie: Super Ninja Cat!

cat brains

Today's Kitty Komic

black cat purse

Feline Art: Cool kitty couture.

Mewsings: June 23, 2017 - "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

cat admiring statue

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Hands are for sleeping.

Cat Mewvie: Gorey cats.

trump as cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat sand sculpture

Feline Art: Cat sand sculpture.

cat news

How to stop cats yowling outside your door at night
by Heather Yamada-Hosley

Cats are great. They’re awesome cuddlers and are cute as heck. But sometimes they’re also jerks.

Like when they step all over your face in the middle of the night. So, you close your bedroom door and they meow and scratch until you let them back in. Here’s how to get them to stop so you can get some sleep.

The first thing you need to do is find out if there are any underlying medical issues that could explain why your cat is meowing at night. Chicago veterinarian Ken Schwartz gives some examples:

Thyroid disease, hypertension, kidney disease, urinary pain, and cognitive dysfunction are all issues that can lead to nighttime vocalization. In addition, decreases in vision or hearing may make your cat more anxious and not want to be left alone or in the dark. This could lead to vocalizing and trying to get into the bedroom.

After your vet has ruled out any potential health issues, you have a few other strategies you can try:

Make them comfortable. If you think your cat might be lonely or bored while you’re asleep, make sure they’re comfortable before you go to bed. Schwartz suggests turning on a light or your TV so they aren’t sitting in the dark. You can also create a cozy space for them to relax in at night and fill up their water dish as well as put out a few of their favorite toys (just don’t leave any out that make noise when played with).

Give them attention before bedtime. Play with your cat, focusing on active games where they chase or jump, to tire them out before you go to sleep. You can also fit in some cuddling and petting so they get plenty of attention and love before they’re on their own for the night.

Add deterrents outside the door. Schwartz suggests putting sticky tape, aluminum foil, or a tray of rocks in front of your bedroom door so that scratching it is a turnoff for your cat. Of course, if you tend to get up a lot in the night, you’ll have to remember not to step in the rocks or foil.

Put the cat in another space. If none of these techniques work, and you have an extra room, set your cat up in there at night. Make sure they have everything they need (litterbox, water, comfy bed, toys).

Whatever you do, don’t give in when they meow or scratch at your bedroom door. This will just teach them that making a racket works. Every cat is different, so you may have to try a few of these strategies before you find one that works.


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