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Infinite Cat Project Archives for January 2-6, 2017.

Mewsings: January 2, 2017 - "Cats are living adornments." - Edwin Lent

kitten in a cup holder

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "My car has a kitten holder."

Cat Mewvie: Joe goes to Cat-Con

cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

monmon cat by kazuaki horimoto

Feline Art: "Monmon cat" Kazuaki Horitomo.

cat books

Twelve 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 (2005)
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 (1994)
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 it).

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 (1986)
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 Bulgakov (1967)
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 Walker (1997)
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 kitchen cat.

Mewsings: January 3, 2017 - "Two things are aesthetically perfect in the world - the clock and the cat"
- Emile Auguste Chartier

handsome tabby cat

Gratuitous Kittiness: Mister Photogenic.

Cat Mewvie: Too slow, kitty.

cat person with cat door

Today's Kitty Komic

cat painting by joy campbell

Feline Art: "Parasol Pussies", by Tracy Butler

Mewsings: January 4, 2017 - "I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine

cats posed for xmas photo

Gratuitous Kittiness: Holiday buddies.

Cat Mewvie: Cow loves kitty.

comic about litter boxes

Today's Kitty Komic

cat caricatures by Tracy Butler

Feline Art: Cat caricatures by Sandy Mastroni.

smuggled cats

Don't 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 Airport.

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."

Mewsings: January 5, 2017 - "Cats' hearing apparatus is built to allow the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other." - Stephen Baker

man holding many cats

Gratuitous Kittiness: Bundles of joy.

Cat Mewvie: Chippie, the escape-artist kitty.

cat vs. box

Today's Kitty Komic

cat art by tracy butler

Feline Art: "Cat pals" by Tracy Butler

Mewsings: January 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

cat on motorcycle

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Let's ride!"

Cat Mewvie: Best. Commercial. Ever..

comic cats judginf humans

Today's Kitty Komic

cat art by kazuaki horitomo

Feline Art: "Monmon Cat" by Kazuaki Horitomo

cat news

Bob, 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 1988.

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 switchboard.

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.


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