Cat Project Archives for January 2-6, 2017.
2, 2017 - "Cats are living adornments." - Edwin
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "My car has a kitten holder."
Mewvie: Joe goes to Cat-Con
Feline Art: "Monmon
cat" Kazuaki Horitomo.
off-the-beaten-track cat books.
by Lily Hayward
T.S. Eliot wasn’t the only one to write about
cats. Here are a few cat-themed essays and books that you might not have
come across in your daily prowling…
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents,
Terry Pratchett (2001)
We already know that Pratchett (sob) was a cat lover. His Discworld books
contain excellent cat-characters such as Nanny Ogg’s tomcat Greebo
and Granny Weatherwax’s kitten, You. Even Death himself has a fondness
for felines. In The Amazing Maurice – a take on the Pied Piper
myth –Maurice the cat takes centre stage. It’s YA-slanted,
and in true Pratchett form, not for the faint-hearted.
Puss-in-Boots, Angela Carter (in The
Bloody Chamber, 1979)
A fabulously bawdy, commedia dell’arte take on the classic Puss
in Boots tale, set in Bergamo, by legendary storyteller Angela Carter.
Varjak Paw, S.F. Said and Dave McKean
While apparently a children’s book, the story, and Dave McKean’s
wonderful integrated illustrations, speak to all ages (and all cat lovers).
We follow the title character, Mesopotamian Blue cat Varjak Paw, who
is forced to leave an isolated existence for the world Outside.
The Alchymist’s Cat, Robin Jarvis
Part One of the Deptford Histories series, master-of-heartbreak Jarvis
tells a tale set in 1660s London, of an evil apothecary and his three
rescued cats; Jupiter, Dab and Leech… Dark, well written and intensely
memorable. (It’s still with me, fifteen years after first reading
The Mousehole Cat, Antonia Barber
and Nicola Bayley (1990)
Oh, I love this book! It’s an adorable and beautifully illustrated
tale based on the legends surrounding Tom Bawcock’s Eve, celebrated
in the Cornish village of Mousehole (pronounced “Mauzel”)
every year on the 23rd December. Old Tom the fisherman must brave the
elements with his courageous cat, Mowzer, in an attempt to calm the ferocious
Storm Cat and save the village. A purrfect Cornish Christmas yarn."
The Life and Opinions
of the Tomcat Murr, E.T.A. Hoffman (1818)
Hoffman’s brilliant, bizarre, post-modern cat’s cradle of
a book sees the Tomcat Murr, an educated feline, write his own biography.
The Cat Inside, William Burroughs
Some people say that Burroughs loved three things: guns, drugs and cats.
The Cat Inside is his utterly unique musing on the cats he has known,
as well as his transformation from cat-ambivalence to cat worship.
Le Chat, Emily Brontë (1842)
An essay, written in French while Bronte was studying in Belgium. In
it, Bronte defends the cat, stating that their self-reliance is far better
than the hypocrisy of humans. Quite.
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail
Not entirely about cats, but who can forget Behemoth, the enormous, fast-talking
rogue of a black cat in Bulgahov’s hallucinogenic Russian satire?
Frida, The Perfect Familiar, Alice
Another essay! A lovely, honest one in Alice’s Walker’s non-fiction
collection, about how, and when, even an independent cat can become the
perfect companion to us, and we to them.
Gobbolino, the Witch’s Cat,
Ursula Moray Williams (1942)
I loved this unusual story as a child, about a black kitten with one
white paw (from being bathed in moonlight). Gobbolino is born to be a
witch’s familiar but longs for nothing more than to be a humble
3, 2017 - "Two things are aesthetically perfect in
the world - the clock and the cat"
- Emile Auguste Chartier
Gratuitous Kittiness: Mister Photogenic.
Mewvie: Too slow, kitty.
Feline Art: "Parasol
Pussies", by Tracy Butler
4, 2017 - "I have studied many philosophers and many
cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Holiday buddies.
Mewvie: Cow loves kitty.
Art: Cat caricatures by Sandy Mastroni.
Smuggle the Cat.
via The Telegraph
A Canadian woman who authorities say managed to hide her four-year-old
pet cat Bella in her handbag during a flight across the Pacific Ocean
had her holiday cut short when border agents discovered the ruse at Auckland
Ministry for Primary Industries spokesman Craig Hughes said on Thursday
that the woman was refused entry into the country and was forced to catch
the next flight home with her cat after she tried to smuggle it across
the border. He called the woman's actions "reckless and dangerous".
New Zealand has strict regulations for importing pets. Cats and dogs
from most approved countries must have an implanted microchip and be
kept in quarantine for a minimum of 10 days after arrival.
Mr Hughes said the woman and her husband, both in their mid- to late-20s,
managed to conceal the cat from the flight crew and other passengers
during the 7,000-mile flight from Vancouver to Auckland.
"Apparently it was a very quiet cat. Very docile," Mr Hughes said,
adding that it may have been given some drugs to make it drowsy.
He said that when the couple arrived at the airport, they said they had
nothing to declare. He said border agents then determined they had muddy
boots which needed inspecting. Agents then moved the couple's bags to
an X-ray machine.
Mr Hughes said the woman was "very reluctant" to have her small
handbag X-rayed and insisted it had already been checked. She finally
admitted there was a cat inside, Mr Hughes said, but then said she'd
told a ticketing agent about Bella when she purchased her ticket.
Mr Hughes said even if the woman's story were true, which he doubted,
it was still unacceptable to bring a cat across the border without declaring
it. He said foreign cats could bring with them ticks and diseases that
aren't present in New Zealand.
He said the woman got upset about being sent back home.
"She had plans to have a nice holiday with her husband in New Zealand," Mr
Hughes said. "And her cat."
The Ministry of Primary Industries called it a "deliberate and very
stupid attempt at smuggling".
"There are strict biosecurity rules in place to stop imported cats and dogs
from introducing pests and diseases into New Zealand," MPI said.
"The passenger clearly decided those rules didn't apply to her."
5, 2017 - "Cats' hearing apparatus is built to allow
the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other." -
Gratuitous Kittiness: Bundles of joy.
Mewvie: Chippie, the escape-artist kitty.
Feline Art: "Cat pals" by Tracy Butler
6, 2017 - "It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens
(Alice had once made the remark) that whatever you say
to them, they /always/ purr." - Lewis Carroll
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Let's ride!"
Mewvie: Best. Commercial. Ever..
Feline Art: "Monmon Cat" by Kazuaki Horitomo
the Portland weather cat.
by Douglas Perry
Putting together a list of Portland notables in any field is always
humbling. Because it reminds us of the wealth of talent this city
has produced. And also because, inevitably, readers will tell us
we failed to include some obvious choices.
This week we offered up our ranking of the Rose City's all-time
most memorable TV and radio stars. Tough decisions had to be made
to keep the list from getting too long -- but that's no excuse.
More than a few readers pointed out that we let arguably the greatest
TV star in Portland's history slip by us on little cat feet. (Our
apologies to Carl Sandburg.)
We're talking, of course, about Bob the Weather Cat.
"Every Friday night, thousands of VCRs in the Portland, Ore., area are programmed
to record station KATU from 6:50 to 6:52 p.m.," People magazine wrote in
That was when Bob, who died in 1993, made his first appearance
each week. He'd be wearing sunglasses or earmuffs or maybe a jaunty
hat. Bob's bosses insisted they dressed him for the newscast, but,
come on, everyone knows cats don't have bosses. We believe Bob
himself donned whatever gear he deemed appropriate for the conditions
outside. After all, he was a Weather Cat.
Bob's run on KATU lasted seven years in the 1980s and '90s -- and
what a seven years it was! On one Friday, he was yanked from the
show at the last minute because the station decided his shtick
was a little too la-di-da for a weather report that would feature
a dire storm warning. His enraged fans overwhelmed the station's
The competition simply couldn't compete. And so, in 1989, one tried
a Bob imposter. Dave Salesky, then KGW's meteorologist, spotted
a cat outside the station's building that kind of looked like Bob.
It was scratching at the door, "like it wanted in,'' he said. "And
I thought: Bob the Weather Cat defects!''
Salesky, who's now at KATU, had a story and he ran with it, airing
footage of the cat and declaring that Bob was seeking "weather
asylum from an unnamed local television station."
Bob Foster, the man who got the real Bob the Weather Cat into the
biz, didn't see the humor.
"It was a cheap shot," the KATU cameraman told Margie Boule, the influential
Oregonian columnist who broke the story wide open shortly after the battle of
the weather cats hit the air.
But then, people are always spreading untrue
rumors about Bob."
Like, perhaps, that his name was Bob. (It was actually Hank.)
Or that he dressed himself. (Actually, we just spread that rumor
above -- sorry.)
How about that Bob enjoyed wearing sunglasses?
"He pushed them off, but we ran the tape backward, so it looked like he
was putting them on," Foster said.
Whatever. What matters is that Bob received buckets of fan mail,
stared out from bumper stickers and buttons, and had his paw prints
preserved for posterity at the zoo.
Said Foster in 1989: "He's a major star. His competition is
Morris and Spuds. He was on the air before Spuds. Spuds might be
bigger, but hey, he's a dog."
We remember Morris, the 9Lives spokescat. And we remember Spuds
MacKenzie, of Bud Light advertising fame.
So how did we forget about Bob? Well, what can we say? Humans,
unlike cats, aren't perfect.