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Infinite Cat Project Archives for April 17-21, 2017.


Mewsings: April 17, 2017 - "The cat does not negotiate with the mouse." - Robert K. Massie


cat in front of the sphinx

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Yeahhh, I may have eaten the canary. Who wants ta know?"




Cat Mewvie: Spanking Kitty.
 

comic things that look like cats

Today's Kitty Komic


 cat by iernst kirchner

Feline Art: "Abstract Cat" by Amy Giacomelli.

cat news

The feral cats of Mexico.
by Bodie Kellogg

Street animals have been a background component in the towns and villages of Mexico since the beginning of time itself; unwanted dogs and cats eking out varying degrees of a minimal living.

Yet as bad as things are for these unfortunate creatures, many manage to pull through well enough to breed, thereby creating the next crop of feral scavengers.

This got me to thinking about the evolutionary path of the street animals. The process of natural selection is significantly enhanced by their brutal life on the streets. Weak, dim-witted or lazy animals do not last long in this highly competitive municipal environment.

The obvious key to survival is finding a reliable food source. This is accomplished by either scavenging garbage or sucking up to the human population. Since bags of trash are out on the streets for pick up three times a week, it becomes easy pickings for both dogs and cats.

Because the locals rarely dispose of anything with nutritive value, this method of foraging produces some very skinny scavengers. Grazing the garbage bags, as well as sucking up, are both common practice for the remarkably intelligent Mexican street cat.

My first encounter with street cats was when I moved into a small house on the side of Ice Box Hill in Mazatlán in 2006. Since the general area had trees, brush and many safe hiding places for cats, I had the dubious opportunity to interact with many feral cats, or should I say they had the opportunity to interact with me.

In retrospect, I realize I was ill prepared to deal with the invasive nature of these clever cats.
When I first moved in, I liked to keep doors and windows open to take advantage of the summer winds. That allowed the aromatic essence of the neighborhood to waft through my seedy living space. I quickly discovered that the practice of airing out was an open invitation to every slinking feline in the barrio.

Before that time, I had never seen a cat scale a brick wall like Spiderman, or watch one completely shred a window screen like a rabid wolverine. Within the first few days of occupancy, I knew my best weapon was Snickers the Wonder Dog.

Since she was also new to an urban environment, I suspect she thought the cats were weird looking raccoons, and thus were fair quarry.

Snickers soon learned that it was open season on any strange cat in the house, and the game was on. She would spend her inside hours patrolling potential entry points. I think she was glad to have a n enjoyable mission in her new Mexican life.

Since she knew it was only in the immediate neighborhood, she paid no attention to cats encountered elsewhere.

While I was at home, Snickers kept the cat horde at bay so I could at least open a few windows. However, within a couple of weeks all my window screens were destroyed and the claw marks on the front door looked as if Freddy Krueger had come to call. It was clear that when Snickers was gone, they came from everywhere and did anything to attempt entry.

Snickers solved my problem during the times I was home, but when we left I did my best to close up the house and plug all the holes. After several months of being on the defensive, I decided to change tactics; I believe proactive is the correct buzzword.

I started feeding the neighborhood cat pack and taming the frequent kittens, which always seemed to appear out of the ether. When I became their benefactor instead of the ogre with the dog, I established a tentative truce and encouraged them to suck up to humans instead of breaking and entering.

With the change of tactics, Snickers became the neighborhood protector of the local cats and would make the rounds checking on their whereabouts. The cats also responded to the change in treatment by rubbing against the dog whenever possible. Of course, Snickers responded with thinly disguised resignation.

It did not take long to have a fat and sassy pack of furbearing freeloaders camped close to their new source of sustenance. Then I started trapping them and having a vet remove either their balls or ovaries; I was getting very tired of kittens.

I found life to be much easier with a stable and healthy cadre of cats, which had become too fat and lazy to bother with climbing a brick wall or ripping the screens from a window.

At first, I thought myself to be the victor in my war with the street cats, but now I know it was the clever cats that had triumphed.








Mewsings: April 18, 2017 - "People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around."
- Susan Easterly



close up of cat face sleeping

Gratuitous Kittiness: Sunshine came softly....






Cat Mewvie: How to trap a cat.
 

your cat will eat you comic

Today's Kitty Komic


vintage German cat postcard

Feline Art: Vintage German cat postcard.



Mewsings: April 19, 2017 - "I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine


orange eyed cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I am the Pumpkin King."





Cat Mewvie: Amazing kitten rescue.
 

comic cat and sweaters

Today's Kitty Komic


cat sculpture by nakisha

Feline Art: Wire cat sculpture by Makisha.


cat news

Ex-Construction Worker Builds A New Life Grooming Cats.
by Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi

During his first day on the job, Alex Perry learned one of the pitfalls of cat grooming when he was bitten by a Maine Coon.

"This one decided to bite me right in the gut. I made the mistake of pulling away. And I got a big tear right in my belly," Perry recalls of that day back in 2012.

If you're a cat lover, chances are you know what a Maine Coon is. Commonly referred to as "the gentle giant," the Maine Coon is one of the largest and most social domesticated cats.
So not only was the cat's action a surprise, but it was enough for Perry's boss to wonder if he might quit.

But Perry reasoned, "It certainly wasn't the worst thing that had happened to me. It wasn't enough to scare me away."

Perry stuck with it for a full week, at the end of which, his boss asked, "Well, what do you think?"

"I said, 'I love it,' "Perry recounts.

Groomed thousands of cats

Since then, Perry says he has groomed more than 30,000 cats — a job he never would have imagined himself doing just a few short years ago when he was making a thriving livelihood in the construction industry.

Back in the early 2000s in Seattle, Wash., where Perry still lives, he was a housing contractor and business was booming. He says that the work could be grueling, but he was young, and the money was good.

"I feel lucky because I am now finally one of those people that — I do what I enjoy for a living and I am able to maintain a decent lifestyle doing it."

"I think my favorite part of the whole thing was just kind of hanging out with the guys," Perry says. "You made a lot of friends. We were going out to dinner a lot, getting together, going dirt bike riding, everybody had toys. It was a good time to be in construction."
But then the housing bubble burst.

"I started getting a feeling about 2008. I was saying that this whole housing bubble couldn't last forever. ... This was the beginnings of things starting to take a turn."

Soon, it was hard for Perry to get jobs.

"I felt like I was working to make about $12 an hour for work that I used to get $50-60 an hour to do. It was very demoralizing," Perry says.

In 2011, Perry said he and his business partner decided it was no longer worth the effort scrounging to find work and only landing low-paying jobs. He said they decided to sell off their assets and get out of the industry.

"I just kind of quit everything and for the first two weeks it was absolutely wonderful; no more headaches, no more phone calls," Perry says. "But sitting home and watching TV in your underwear is only fun for so long. I would say week three and week four, I really started to feel like a loser and then I really started thinking hard about what I was going to do next."

Cat grooming as difficult as construction

The inspiration for Perry's next career move came from an unexpected place—his own cat, a silver Himalayan named Gizmo.

"She was beautiful. She was one of those cats that got by on her looks," Perry says. "One day, my neighbor was changing his motor oil and she decided to take a nap in the used motor oil pan. She was a mess, so I quickly had to find myself a cat groomer. So, I found one, took her in there. They got her all scrubbed up I watched the process and I was fascinated by it."

Perry said he'd never even heard of cat grooming until that day Gizmo had that strange accident.
When Gizmo died, Perry went in search of a new cat at Seattle Persian and Himalayan Rescue. But instead of a new pet, Perry stumbled across a new hobby. Finding himself unemployed and job hunting with no prospects, Perry volunteered at the Seattle Persian and Himalayan Rescue and started getting some practical experience in cat grooming.

And that's when he said, "I started to think, 'Hey, maybe I could do this for a living.'"

By the following year, Perry had started his new life as an entry level cat groomer, and he quickly got plenty of experience, helping to groom 12 to 18 cats a day, five days a week.

"It was quite a grueling [pace]. I would say in the time I worked there, I saw 12 people come and go. Out of those 12, I would say eight of them quit either the first day or within the first week."
But Perry says he was hooked. By 2015 was a co-owner at Cozy Cat Boarding and Grooming in Seattle.

"I've probably groomed over 40,000 cats now. ... It's a lot," Perry says. "You know, a lot of them are the same cats. I wouldn't say that's 40,000 individual cats. That's cats that come in every few months or quarterly so I groom a lot of cats over and over again."

Perry, 43, believes that most people have a misconception about what cat grooming is all about.

"A lot of people get into it thinking you get to play with kitty cats all day, which in a sense you do, but it's hard work. I would put it right up there with construction as far as the difficulty of the work," he says.

Cats feed off of your energy

Perry insists that one must have a special touch to be successful in the cat grooming business.

"Some people have a gentle touch and some people don't," he says. "I just feel very relaxed around cats, you know. I'm not a hippy-dippy type person, but I definitely believe cats feed off of your energy and if you have a positive, quiet energy, I think the cat senses that and it will just make everybody's life much easier."

One of Perry's favorite things about the job is bathing the cats, and he offers a special tip.

"I like to wrap them in a little microfiber cloth and then we roll them in the beach towel and we make a little purr-ritto," he says.

Perry believes he's found his calling in cat grooming.

"I feel lucky because I am now finally one of those people that — I do what I enjoy for a living and I am able to maintain a decent lifestyle doing it."

As for that age old question some may be asking, "Well, how do you bathe a cat?"
The short answer Perry says, "Quickly."





Mewsings: April 20, 2017 - "The trouble with sharing one's bed with cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you."- Pam Brown


young girl with large cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: "My sweet little kitty."





Cat Mewvie: A little 'me time' with your cat.
 

cat wrecking couch comic

Today's Kitty Komic


cats bt Rudolf Hirth de Frenes

Feline Art: "Young Friends" by Rudolf Hirth de Frenes.



Mewsings: April 21, 2017 - ""Some animals are secretive; some are shy. A cat is private."
- Leonard Michaels



cat sleeping on its back

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I see yo! Now get out here and feed me!"





Cat Mewvie: Dramatic kitten turtlin'.
 

cute little cat friend comic

Today's Kitty Komic


the cat's lunch by marguerite girard

Feline Art: "The Cat's Lunch" by Marguerite Girard.

cat playing with feather

Every cat needs entertainment.


Cats are curious creatures that love to run, climb, hunt, and play. Providing entertainment and activities for your cat keeps them healthier and helps reduce unwanted behavior.

Dr. Sarah Griffin, a lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained the importance of providing your pet with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

“Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives but can develop undesirable habits if not given enough exercise and mental stimulation,” Griffin said. “Some undesirable behaviors and medical conditions that can develop from lack of stimulation include scratching inappropriate places, chewing, peeing outside the litter box, aggression, and obesity.”

Several cat toys and supplies on the market make providing your furry friend with entertainment easy. For example, a cat tower placed by the window could provide opportunities for your pet to exercise, play, relax, and enjoy the scenery outside.

Additionally, Griffin said cat toys—especially ones with bells, feathers, fur, or pom poms— can provide hours of entertainment and some exercise for your kitty.

Toys to encourage your cat’s natural instinct to hunt are also available. These toys can be filled with a treat or cat food and can be hidden in the house. When the cat finds the toy, they have to play with it to get the food out. Griffin said hunting toys provide mental stimulation and also a little exercise. You also can train your cat to chase laser pointers; however, be sure to play safe to avoid any injury to your cat.

Many of our feline friends live indoors, but they still may be curious about the outdoors. Training your cat to walk on a harness or leash will provide both exercise and entertainment for your cat.

“Leash walking and having an open window or a screened-in porch can fulfill a cat’s desire to explore the outdoors,” Griffin said.

Whether your kitty spends most of its time sleeping or begging you to play, providing entertainment for your cat is important for its mental and physical health.




 



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