6, 2019: "All cats are possessed of a proud spirit,
and the surest way to forfeit the esteem of a cat is to
treat him as an inferior being." - Michael Joseph
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Whoaaaa! What if our solar system is,
like, just an atom? Duuuude."
Cat Mewvie: Some people can sleep
Feline Art: "Mickey" by
cat? Real Cat? Only the King knows.
by Kay Johnson
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Animal lovers in Thailand were thrown into confusion
on Sunday over whether a Siamese cat presented to the newly crowned Thai
king and his queen was a living feline - or not.
Thailand is holding three days of coronation events for King Maha Vajiralongkorn,
66, who was officially crowned on Saturday in elaborate ceremonies.
It is tradition at royal coronations to present a cat - as well as several
symbolic household items - to a new monarch as part of the private Assumption
of the Royal Residence blessing ceremony, which was held on Saturday
at the Chakrabat Biman residence.
Cats are considered lucky by many Thais and the tradition of giving one
as a housewarming gift signifies a stable home.
On Sunday morning, several Thai media outlets carried a photo of two
uniformed palace officials next to what appeared to be a docile Siamese
cat and a fluffy white rooster. The image, distributed by the Bureau
of the Royal Household, was not captioned.
But by afternoon, the Thai-language news site Manager was reporting that
the palace had used a “cat doll” instead of a live cat.
A palace official, contacted by Reuters, said: “The royal ceremony
required the use of a rooster and a cat. It should not be the focus whether
the animals were real or not, but instead the ritual itself is important.”
Reuters was unable to independently confirm whether live animals were
used in the ceremony or the photograph.
A Facebook page Maewthai.com - “ThaiCat.com” - posted a copy
of the palace photo with a message from a well-known cat breeder saying
he originally had been asked to select two gentle male Siamese cats for
the ceremony but his cats were ultimately not used.
“I feel grateful for His Majesty’s kindness for feeling compassionate
about the cats, fearing that the animal would suffer from waiting too long during
ceremonies, so the cats were not used,” said the breeder, whose post did
not identify him by name.
The breeder did not directly address whether the cat in the palace photo
was a doll.
That ambiguity confused some Thais who posted comments online.
“So is it real or fake cat?” a Facebook user called Niphawan Rakpontee
Another user named Krittaya Parichayanan said “It’s a real
cat isn’t it?”
“This is likely a stuffed cat,” user Prapaporn Tongprasan said.
Thailand has strict lese majeste laws carrying prison sentences of up
to 15 years for insulting the king, queen or the heir-apparent.
Historical images of the 1926 coronation of King Rama VII, the current
monarch’s great uncle, show a group photo with female members of
the royal family holding both a Siamese cat - a breed that originated
in Thailand - as well as a rooster.
The tradition of using cats in royal household ceremonies dates back
centuries, said historian and writer Sujane Kanparit.
“The meaning of having a cat is that it brings warmth to the household.
It is an old court tradition that has appeared in the royal chronicles,” he
Asked if the cat in the palace photo was alive or a doll, Sujane said: “I
have no idea.”
7, 2019: "There is no such thing as 'just a cat'." -
Robert A. Heinlein
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Good morning! You can feed me now."
Cat Mewvie: "If you close
your eyes, blueberries taste sorta like tuna."
Feline Art: "Sphynx" by
8, 2019: "A cat sleeps fat, yet walks thin." -
Kittiness: "Am I Fluffy or Muffy? You'll never know! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-haaa!"
Cat Mewvie: On the catwalk. (Wait
Art: "Kung Fu Cat" by Buyat Iraliyev.
9, 2019: "There is, indeed, no single quality of the
cat that man could not emulate to his advantage." -
Carl Van Vechten
Gratuitous Kittiness: Life Hack #237 - Fake keyboard.
Cat Mewvie: Just your average
Feline Art: "Cat".
Pastel, artist unknown.
10, 2019: "Even if you have just destroyed a Ming
Vase, purr. Usually all will be forgiven."
- Lenny Rubenstein
Gratuitous Kittiness: It takes these Australian cats a few days
Cat Mewvie: Cat City.
Feline Art: "Catlord" by
got bac-teria... in their butts?
by Grant Currin
Cats do weird things: Bite ankles, run laps around your apartment for
no apparent reason, and freak out at the sight of their own shadows.
But perhaps the oddest of them all is this: They farm bacteria in their
Why do they do this? Cats use their anal glands to produce a stinky pheromone
spray made up of many volatile chemicals. And it turns out they probably
don't make most of those smelly chemicals themselves; they outsource
a lot of the production to microbes that live in those glands, new research
Chemical communication is common in mammals. It's how a dog announces "This
fire hydrant is mine!" and how a skunk screams "Go away!" Domestic
cats use a complex chemical language to mark their territory with messages
that tell others who they are and whether they're ready to mate.
In a paper published May 1 on the preprint server biorXiv, researchers
analyzed the anal gland secretions of a single, anonymous Bengal cat.
The paper has not yet been peer-reviewed.
"We're testing the hypothesis that cats maintain these glands in part as
incubators for bacteria that produce smells that are important to the cat for
signaling," David Coil, a biologist at the University of California, Davis
(UC Davis) and co-author on the paper, told Live Science.
The cat used in this proof-of-concept study was admitted to a veterinarian's
office in Oakland. With the owner's consent, a technician massaged the
cat's rear, extracted fluid from his anal glands, and shipped the prize
70 miles (113 kilometers) north to the lab.
Once the sample arrived, researchers identified the chemical compounds
and bacteria present in the secretions. They also cultured some of the
bacteria and identified the compounds the microbes had produced.
The anal sac secretion contained 127 compounds and the bacteria in the
culture produced 67. Fifty-two of the microbe's compounds were identified
in the anal sac secretion.
"So, it's reasonable to believe the microbes are making the volatile compounds" used
in communication, Jonathan Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at UC Davis and co-author
on the study, told Live Science.
The partnership makes sense for both parties: the feline host is able
to outsource complex biochemical synthesis by offering the microbes a
warm, moist, nutrient-rich home. And it's not all that surprising; other
mammals also host microbes that can produce the volatile chemicals used
Having shown this relationship between felines and their microbiome,
the researchers can begin larger studies to better understand how microbes
interact with their hosts.
"In this study, we looked at one cat at one time in a lot of detail," Coil
"What's needed now is a much bigger study looking at all the questions this
The Bengal cat in Oakland was unavailable for comment.”