Cat Project Archives for June 19-23,
19, 2017 - "Cats look beyond appearances--beyond species
entirely, it seems--to peer into the heart." - Barbara
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Kittenpalooza!"
Mewvie: "Help. Please."
Feline Art: "Cat" by
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
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
"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
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).
20, 2017 - "Cats conspire to keep us at arm's length." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Bunny fun.
Mewvie: "The Kibble Wars."
Feline Art: "Cat" by
21, 2017 - "When I play with my cat, who knows if
I am not a pastime to her more than she to me?" -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Nothing says family like a family purr-trait.
Mewvie: Just fur fun.
Art: Origami cat.
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
‘ 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
‘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.
22, 2017 - "You never saw such a crazy cat. 'Up the
wall' took on a literal meaning."
- Arnold Hano
Gratuitous Kittiness: Nuttin' like a cool cup o' kitten.
Mewvie: Super Ninja Cat!
Feline Art: Cool kitty
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
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Hands are for sleeping.
Mewvie: Gorey cats.
Feline Art: Cat sand
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.