Cat Project Archives for October 16-20, 2017.
16, 2017: "Cats are connoisseurs of comfort." -
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: Napping pals.
Mewvie: Just walking the cat.
Feline Art: Wallpaper, artist
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
Two Marin Humane animal service officers plucked the crying cat from
the dark drain and whisked it off for treatment at a local veterinary
“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
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
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,
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
17, 2017: "You can't help that. We're all mad here." -
The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Oops. My cat broke."
Feline Art: "Cat
18, 2017: "There is no cat 'language'. Painful as
it is for us to admit, they don't need one." - Barbara
Gratuitous Kittiness: Coat with built-in, dual organic heating
Mewvie: "YOU WILL LOVE ME!"
Art: More Kliban cats.
19, 2017: "Every dog has his day -- but the nights
are reserved for the cats." - Unknown
Gratuitous Kittiness: A day in the park.
Mewvie: Keep Catmerica beautiful.
Feline Art: Calligraphic
cat and mouse by Margaret Shepherd.
20, 2017: "Cats, like butterflies, need no excuse." -
Robert A. Heinlein
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Sorry. No beers ni there."
Mewvie: Beach baby.
Feline Art: "Cat'erpillar",
polymer clay. Artist unknown.
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.