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Infinite Cat Project Archives for March 19-23, 2018.

Mewsings, March 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 Brown

dracula cat

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: The essential computer accessory.

Cat Mewvie: Overwatch's Brigitte as a cat.


cat sleep schedule comic

Today's Kitty Komic

surrealism cat painting

Feline Art: "The Cat Who Stole The Sun" by Josh Byer.

cat news

Cat 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 Treasure Coast.

" 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 owner.
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 River County.

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, Winikoff said.

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 added.

" 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 years.

" 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."

Mewsings, March 20, 2018: "Cats like doors left open--in case they change their minds."- Rosemary Nisbet

white cacat with blue eyest in square container

Gratuitous Kittiness: The cat with blueberry eyes.

Cat Mewvie: The "Mission Impossible" cat.


cat thor comics

Today's Kitty Komic

cat and roses painting

Feline Art: "Among the Roses" by Amelies Welt.

Mewsings, March 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

cat sleeping in drawer

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I'm filed under 'A' for 'Awesome'."

Cat Mewvie: Every. Damn. Time.


cat on stove comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat on green background painting

Feline Art: "Untitled" by Natalya Murlyka.

Mewsings, March 22, 2018: "The trouble with sharing one's bed with cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you."- Pam Brown

cat in box in snow

Gratuitous Kittiness: "If I fits, I sits.... though my sitter's cold as F*CK!"

Cat Mewvie: It's Simon's Cat time again.


comic about comics about cats

Today's Kitty Komic

cat face watercolor

Feline Art: "Polly" by Bee Mai.

Mewsings, March 23, 2018: "A cat allows you to sleep on the bed. On the edge."- Jenny de Vries

bengal cat stretching

Gratuitous Kittiness: The morning str-r-r-r-r-r-etch.

Cat Mewvie: Nature-lovin munchkin.


cat news comic

Today's Kitty Komic

fauvist cat painting

Feline Art: "Untitled", by Claudelle Girard.

cat news

Argue 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.

Practice agreeability

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 conclusion:

Me: Want to get up on the highest bookshelf? The one you can never get down from?

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 pounce.

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.


The Infinite Cat Project
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