Cat Project Archives for March 19-23,
19, 2018: "A cat can maintain a position of curled
up somnolence on your knee until you are nearly upright.
To the last minute she hopes your conscience will get the
better of you and you will settle down again."- Pam
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: The essential computer accessory.
Cat Mewvie: Overwatch's Brigitte
as a cat.
Feline Art: "The Cat
Who Stole The Sun"
by Josh Byer.
missing 14 years finds its way home.
by Maureen Kenyon
Have you ever wondered what 14 years equals in cat years?
(Hint: It's a really long time.)
For an orange tabby named Thomas Jr. — T2 for short — it's
about 72 years, the time it's been since he last saw his owner, Perry
Martin, of Fort Pierce.
But because of a tiny microchip, T2 was reunited with Martin last week
at the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast.
" When I got the call and someone said, 'What if we told you T2 was alive?'
I figured it was a mistake," Martin said. "It was too crazy to believe."
That phone call was from Martin's veterinarian, who, in 2002, had implanted
T2 with a microchip. If T2 ever went missing, it would make him easier
to identify once he'd been found.
Two years later, after Hurricane Jeanne hit the Treasure Coast, Martin,
60, moved in with a friend in Stuart.
Just a few days after settling there, T2 escaped. "I looked for
him, the neighbors looked for him, but no one could find him," he
said. Martin filed a missing-cat report with the Humane Society of the
" With him being microchippped, I figured someone would find him and call
me," he said. But that didn't happen and Martin assumed the worst: T2 had
met his fate on Kanner Highway.
" I got done grieving and moved back home," Martin said.
Since T2's escape, Martin had moved twice, once to Ohio and then back
to Fort Pierce.
" I just went on about my life," he said. "I guess T2 did, too,
because who would have thought that after 14 years, you'd find your lost cat?"
But that's what happened March 9.
A Martin County Animal Services officer found the orange tabby as a stray
and took him to the nonprofit shelter in Palm City. A simple wave of
a wand near T2's shoulder blades quickly identified the microchip's unique
ID, giving the shelter all the information it needed to find the cat's
Deidre Huffman, shelter adoption manager, said staff was shocked when
it found out T2 had been missing for 14 years.
" It's a crazy amount of time for a cat to be gone," she said. "No
one took him to a vet to be scanned and no one reported that they had found him.
" Thankfully, he finally was found and brought to us. He was chipped and
his owner's information was up to date."
That's the best — and most important — part about T2's adventure.
" Having a collar with a tag is a great first line of defense, but they
come off," Huffman said. "Chips do not. It links you to the animal
for the pet's life."
For Martin, a retired canine officer with the Fort Pierce Police Department,
making sure his animals — working and personal — had microchips
was second nature.
" If you care about your pet, chip 'em," he added. "Update your
phone number and address, because if you don't, it's all a waste."
Each microchip, typically implanted between an animal's shoulder blades,
is embedded with a unique identification number, said Janet Winikoff,
director of education at the Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian
When a chipped animal is scanned with a wand, the wand beeps and the
ID number is displayed, she said. The microchips are passive transponders. "We
can tell from the ID number who the manufacturer is and if the microchip
is registered," she said.
If the microchip isn't registered, the manufacturer still can find out
who purchased it, such as a veterinarian or an animal shelter.
Microchips are inexpensive, usually $15-$40, and are implanted quickly,
Winikoff said. "To have that insurance that your pet will always
be able to be ID'd is so important," she said.
Statistics prove microchips work, too.
The chances of a microchipped dog being found and returned to its owner
rise from 25 percent to 50 percent, said David Lynch, Port St. Lucie
shelter manager with the Humane Society of St. Lucie County. For cats,
it's 2 percent without a chip vs. 25 percent with one.
" Pets are our family," he said. "People sometimes spend months
looking for their lost animal. Microchips make it so much easier for everyone."
The humane societies in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties implant
microchips and register them, but some shelters and veterinarians leave
it up to pet owners.
That's why it's critical to register a microchip with its manufacturer
and update personal information such as a new phone number or home address,
Contacting the pet's veterinarian and local humane societies and shelters
with updated information is a good idea, too.
It's also important that if someone finds a stray animal to take it to
a local shelter that has a universal scanner. Universal scanners have
the most up-to-date technology to find and scan most microchips, Winikoff
" Pets don't carry wallets with ID, so anything you can do to get your pet
home, you want to try everything possible," she said.
Martin is happy T2 is home, but wonders how the cat spent the last 14
" Could you imagine if he could talk for just 15 minutes to tell us what
he's been through?" Martin asked. "He'd probably say, 'Why did you
keep the door shut, Dad?'"
Martin said he would like to think T2 lived with a family.
" I just can't imagine him living in the wild," he said. "But
I guess it's possible."
T2 is still in rough shape. At first, the cat wouldn't eat or drink and
slept most of the day. But over the past few days, Martin said, T2 finishes
his food and drinks water and is beginning to remember him.
" I will make sure he's comfortable for the rest of his time here," he
said. "He's still skin-and-bones and he's 18 years old, but he's still T2."
20, 2018: "Cats like doors left open--in case they
change their minds."- Rosemary Nisbet
Gratuitous Kittiness: The cat with blueberry eyes.
Cat Mewvie: The "Mission
Feline Art: "Among
the Roses" by Amelies Welt.
21, 2018: "Many a cat can only be lured in by switching
off all the lights and keeping very still. Until the indignant
cry of a cat-locked-out comes at the door."- Pam Brown
Gratuitous Kittiness: "I'm filed under 'A' for 'Awesome'."
Cat Mewvie: Every. Damn. Time.
Art: "Untitled" by Natalya Murlyka.
22, 2018: "The trouble with sharing one's bed with
cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you."-
Gratuitous Kittiness: "If I fits, I sits.... though my sitter's
cold as F*CK!"
Cat Mewvie: It's Simon's Cat time
Feline Art: "Polly"
by Bee Mai.
23, 2018: "A cat allows you to sleep on the bed. On
the edge."- Jenny de Vries
Gratuitous Kittiness: The morning str-r-r-r-r-r-etch.
Cat Mewvie: Nature-lovin munchkin.
Feline Art: "Untitled",
by Claudelle Girard.
Like A Cat
by Jay Heinrichs
In my defence, the cats in my life have been world-class masters at argument.
Our first cat, Isabella, could get me to scratch her back four times
a day. Bat-eared, great-souled Aubrey stopped me in my tracks whenever
he wanted to play. Though he couldn’t walk properly, he gently
ruled over his much larger brother, Maturin. Aubrey lived for less than
two years. But he was the best of persuaders; the greatest argument is
the way you live your life. Then there’s Killick, bred as an Italian
stud who – though now “fixed” downstairs – still
acts like a stud. He occupies a special place on the kitchen counter,
having decided that rules about cats on counters do not apply to him.
Brilliant persuaders, every one. Despite employing all the best tools
of manipulation, I’ve rarely changed their little minds.
Wait, you say. Cats don’t talk.
Sure they do. They purr. They meow. Maturin makes weird happy grunting
noises when he eats. Admittedly, half the time I don’t know exactly
what they’re talking about. But whose fault is that? Half the time
I don’t know what humans are talking about.
Besides, some of the best persuasion tools don’t require you to
have the perfect words. Maturin, for example, can get me to do almost
anything just by purring. Which leads us to the most important persuasion
tool of all – among several lessons in my book How to Argue with
a Cat that also apply when trying to convince humans.
The first thing every cat knows, and you should know too, is that an
argument is not a fight. In a fight, you try to win. You want to dominate
the other person and make him admit defeat. The loser in a fight is never
very happy about it. In an argument, you try to win over the other creature.
You get your opponent to agree on a solution, or to make a choice.
A cat who bites means to fight. But a cat who gently claws your leg is
making an argument: pay me attention. “I want food/play/love/access
to high places.”
The leg-clawing offers the perfect opening to an intelligent dialogue,
where you can share points of view and develop a mutually satisfying
Me: Want to get up on the highest bookshelf? The one you can never get
Killick: [Claws a little more insistently.]
Me: How about my shoulder? [I pick up the cat.]
Killick: [Balances precariously on my shoulder, looking meaningfully
at the highest shelf.]
Me: Tell you what. We’ll go check the bird feeder out the window
and imagine eating the sparrows.
Killick: [Aims me toward the window.]
Want to be as persuasive as a cat? Start by purring, human style. Nod
your head when you disagree, acknowledging your opponent. Banish the
word “But” from your vocabulary. Then just add to the conversation.
If you can, send love beams out of your eyes. Gentle Aubrey did that
all the time. Inside the ‘Catpuchino Cafe’ in Yangon, cats
know they can get away with breaking all the usual rules
Pounce like a predator
Chubby old Isabella could fool people into believing she was lazy. She
would lie perfectly still, tracking a fly for hours. Then bam! She would
It occurred to me that she was following an important principle. Too
often, we try to persuade each other on the wrong occasions. We propose
a new TV to a spouse when they’re paying the bills. We mention
Brexit during a family reunion. A cat would never do this. It knows how
to wait until exactly the right moment to seize the occasion, letting
no temporary lap go un-sat-upon and no bug unchased.
In rhetoric, this art of the occasion is called Kairos (KI-ros). Isabella
taught me to practice Kairos in meetings. I now wait to speak until people
want to hear from me. Then I say, “This is what I’m hearing.” I
sum up the meeting in ways that gently steer the meeting toward my point
of view. It’s the human equivalent of catching a fly. A man evaluates
a Bengal cat during the Paris Animal Show – but who do you think
really has the upper hand in this relationship?
Fit into a tight spot
I’ve learned a lot from watching Maturin and boxes. No matter how
small the Amazon package, that cat still manages to ooze his way into
the tiny cardboard until all you see is a lump of white butt fur. On
the other hand, every time I get up from my easy chair he somehow manages
to expand his body to occupy the entire cushion. How does he do that?
He adapts. He shapes himself to fit the space.
We humans tend to shape our surroundings to us instead of the other way
around. Imagine a social setting as a small, intimate space. We want
to fit in. The ancient rhetoricians called the art of fitting in decorum.
It means “fitness”.
Decorum isn’t just about adopting correct grammar and using the
right fork. Suppose you’re a guest at a party and a man who has
had one too many beers tries to pick a political fight with you. You
might be tempted to fight back.
But remember: you’re in a social environment, one that contains
more guests than just that drunk man. Think about decorum. In any conflict
where there’s an audience, the most decorous, fitting-in strategy
means winning over the audience, not your attacker.
Be like a cat: fit in. Smile and mingle. Shape your demeanour to your
surroundings. You’ll find them more comfortable.
Oh, and assume everyone else loves you. My cats do. When I tell Maturin
I need my chair back, he agreeably climbs into my lap and sheds all over
my pants. As if he’s been waiting all along to do this.