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Infinite Cat Project Archives for October 16-20, 2017.

Mewsings, October 16, 2017: "Cats are connoisseurs of comfort." - James Herriot

cat napping with young boy

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Napping pals.

Cat Mewvie: Just walking the cat.

halloween cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

sky goldfish cat wish art

Feline Art: Wallpaper, artist unknown.

cat news

Cat caught in Santa Rosa fires rescued from storm drain.
by Kevin McCallum

A cat’s anguished cries led firefighters to a storm drain in Santa Rosa’s devastated Fountaingrove neighborhood, where the badly burned feline was rescued Friday afternoon five days after an inferno leveled the area.

Two Marin Humane animal service officers plucked the crying cat from the dark drain and whisked it off for treatment at a local veterinary hospital.

“We’re extremely proud of them and we feel honored that Sonoma County called on us to come up and help,” said Lisa Bloch, spokeswoman for the Novato-based nonprofit.

Marin Humane has provided three animal service officers to support Sonoma County’s effort to locate, rescue and care for animals affected by the wildfires, which have killed 19 people and caused $1.2 billion in damage in Sonoma County alone.

Firefighters heard the frightened feline’s meows coming from a storm drain on Wedgewood Way, not far from the site of what had been the city’s newest fire station. There is not a home standing in the area.

Animal service officers Rachel Dalton and Chelsea Hayes responded around 3 p.m. and dropped a ladder about 8 feet into a storm drain beneath the sidewalk. Hayes, who is strong but slight, shimmied down into the narrow cavern with a flashlight and small blue pet carrier.

Dalton handed down some food and Hayes was able to coax the injured animal into the crate. Talking to it gently, the officers attached a rope to the cage and hauled the cat up out of the storm drain to safety.

“It’s bad,” said Dalton of the cat’s burns.

The pair called a supervisor who advised them to bring the cat to a local vet for immediate treatment.

Dehydrated and hungry, the cat was taken to Sonoma County Animal Services for treatment, Bloch said. It will be checked for a tracking chip to see if its owner can be identified.

When the fires hit earlier this week, Marin Humane made room for displaced pets by transferring all of the animals at its shelter to other locations, Bloch said.

To date it has housed 380 pets of evacuees, including dogs, cats, birds, tortoises, and chickens, for free, she said. Some evacuees have been reunited with their animals, she said.

“ Pets are like family, and for people who lose everything, to be reunited with their pets or to know that their pets are safe, can make all the difference,” Bloch said.

Mewsings, October 17, 2017: "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland

twisted sleeping cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Oops. My cat broke."

Cat Mewvie: "Gesundheit."

cat meets pirahna comic

Today's Kitty Komic

watercolor cat

Feline Art: "Cat #19" by Rafal Wnek.

Mewsings, October 18, 2017: "There is no cat 'language'. Painful as it is for us to admit, they don't need one." - Barbara Holland

two cats inside coat

Gratuitous Kittiness: Coat with built-in, dual organic heating system.

Cat Mewvie: "YOU WILL LOVE ME!"

bad luck cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

kliban cats

Feline Art: More Kliban cats.

Mewsings, October 19, 2017: "Every dog has his day -- but the nights are reserved for the cats." - Unknown

large cat paw in hand

Gratuitous Kittiness: A day in the park.

Cat Mewvie: Keep Catmerica beautiful.

computer mouse comic cat

Today's Kitty Komic

calligraphic cat and mouse art

Feline Art: Calligraphic cat and mouse by Margaret Shepherd.

Mewsings, October 20, 2017: "Cats, like butterflies, need no excuse." - Robert A. Heinlein

cat in beer box

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Sorry. No beers ni there."

Cat Mewvie: Beach baby.

if cats could text comic

Today's Kitty Komic

clay cat sculpture caterpillar

Feline Art: "Cat'erpillar", polymer clay. Artist unknown.

cat news

My cat is a monster. Why do I love him so?
by Jules Howard

What could be more heartening than the story of the Grenfell fire survivor who was reported this week to have been reunited with the cat she thought she’d lost in the blaze? What could warm the cockles more than the story, also reported this week, of the “refugee cat” lost in Greece and reunited with its family in Norway courtesy of a global social media campaign. For stories of cats and dogs, be they heroes or victims, draw us in like no other. What magic was cast upon us to seemingly love them so?

I’d like to consider this further but – pray silence – our cat has entered the room. His name is Dustin. Dustin is sauntering across the carpet and ordering me to let him out of the back door. I immediately do it. Dustin is on steroids at the moment for an eye condition. So concerned are we about Dustin not swallowing his tablets we are employing the bodies of beautiful Atlantic fish for use as drug mules to get the steroids into his bloodstream.

He eats the fish like the deranged killer that he is. In our house, we are supposed to love all animals but yet here we are mashing up these poor fish every day in a desperate bid to make Dustin’s eyes better so that he can go out and hunt birds and small mammals outside again, whether or not he has a full stomach. I consider myself a conservationist, but Dustin exposes me as a fraud. Dustin is a monster. And yet, for all his many faults, I seem to have fallen madly and deeply in love with him. How did it come to this?

The traditional answer used to be that we were falling in love with a reflection of ourselves. Dogs were chiselled from wild wolves into a form by our ancestors that we found useful and eminently keepable. In this view, their incredible form was our doing: thumbprints on worked clay that betray the man in front of the potter’s wheel. To some Victorians, this idea of the perfection of dogs fitted the narrative that man (that word again) was the measure of all things.

Cats, however, struggled to fit this human-centric narrative. Though numerous cat breeds exist, few seem to have a “purpose”, and fewer still show obvious signs of human-selected history. How did cats wind their way into our lives therefore?

The answer, as many evolutionary biologists now argue, is that cats may have selected us as much as we selected them. There are a few reasons why scientists suspect this, most notably that our relationship with cats seemed to begin around the time that we began storing grain and opening the door for rodents. Sites from central China offer good support for this hypothesis: cat bones retrieved from one site contain the same isotopes as found in rat bones, which themselves contain the same isotopes found in millet.

If this interpretation is true, it’s likely that cats were doing a service to humans as long ago as 5,500 years ago, albeit with their own interests in mind. And we were doing a service for them of course, providing feeding opportunities and a warm sheltered place to sleep. We became symbionts: helping to civilise each other.

A similar argument is regularly made for dogs. Perhaps wolves came to us, domesticating themselves in our rubbish dumps before their value as hunters and protectors were understood and seized upon. (Indeed, it may have happened more than once). Their success is our success, which is perhaps why so many of us hold them so dear. But even so, the deep love we seem to display for our pets is striking in the extreme.

In fact, nothing challenges my understanding of Darwinian evolution more than the fact I have fallen so deeply in love with a milky-eyed cat. When he appeared in our lives, it was like we had discovered a rich seam of new and untapped love every time he entered the room. He offers very little affection, yet we lovingly prepare food for him. We pay money to have his eyes become not milky. We are willing to ignore the impact he is having on our neighbourhood wildlife.

I am not proud, just … staggered at the realness of our emotions toward him, really. They are the same emotions I imagine you, dear reader, will know in your own pets. The same emotions that make you cry when they’re gone. The same emotions that we display by clicking on the news stories about cats and dogs that we probably don’t have time to read. The same emotions that brought you to this page and have you reading this far. We love them. We crave them. They remind us of who we are. They make us better versions of ourselves. And they (mostly) seem to love us.

But why stop there? The more I come to contemplate our strange infatuation towards them, the more deeply I question who is the civilising influence here. Do we anthropomorphise them, or do they animalise us? If the latter, then perhaps it is their presence that may one day wake us up to the wider disasters we are inflicting upon nature. If so, that’s a message I’m happy to share far and wide.


The Infinite Cat Project
Presented by Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Illustration, Flash Animation, Web Design

©Mike Stanfill