catalogue of a categorically cataclysmic concatenation.
The Infinite Cat Project
is about one cat watching another (see below).
A long line of
1813 cats so far. The very first
Infinaut is Frankie,
seen at left admiring a flower. He is (was) the
owner of Paul Hamilton. The ICP also offers all KINDs of other cat-related
diversions. Check 'em out!
If you'd like to add
your own fuzzy friend to the Infinite
Queue you can find all the details here. Or
just take a picture of your kitty watching Chief, below, and email it
to me. It's just that easy.
October 28, 2016 - "Actually, cats do this to protect
you from gnomes who come and steal your breath while
you sleep." - John Dobbin
Kute Kittiness: "Calgon take me awayyyyyyyy."
for past Infinite Cat stories?
You can find archived Infinite Cat postings
by clicking the RSS button at the top of this page. - Love, The
Infinaut, Cat #1813: Two tone watching Hugh watching
You can search our Infinite Cats in convenient
Mewvie: It's a Big Cat Halloween!
Art: So say we all.
new must-have accessory: The feral cat.
By Shibani Mahtani and Joe Barrett
CHICAGO—Nicolas Cuervo and his neighbors called, texted
and pleaded. Finally, after over three months of waiting,
their highly coveted order arrived: a crate of stray cats.
“It was almost like getting a newborn,” said
Mr. Cuervo, a 44-year-old copywriter, who had three cats
from a street
pack delivered to him last month.
Now, Mr. Cuervo is waiting some more—to see if he can
persuade the beasts to stick around.
He has changed his schedule to work from home. He coos to
them through the wires of the crate. He feeds them gourmet
cat treats. All in the hope that once he lets them out of
the crate after several weeks, the cats will warm up to him
and turn his backyard—now overrun with rats—into
their long-term hunting ground.
“I’m a dog guy, I was never even drawn to cats,” he
said. “But if this is what you have to do, you have
to do it.”
Chicago is awash in rats. A mild winter last year allowed
broods of baby rats to survive, leading to an explosion of
the critters, terrorizing residents as they run around their
yards and dumpsters. By September, there had been 27,000
rat complaints, a 40% increase from 2015.
This is turning the alley cat, once considered a rabid urban
menace threatening small children and pets, into a prized
possession. Or at least as much of a possession as a stray
cat can be.
“I’ve been offered bribes,” said Paul Nickerson,
who runs the Tree House Humane Society’s Cats at Work
program, which places feral cats that have been trapped,
microchipped and spayed or neutered with rat-plagued Chicagoans.
But he won’t budge on the waiting list, which has stretched
to six months amid the frenzy.
Once the cats arrive, the new owners face a daunting challenge
making a connection with wild versions of animals that are
famously standoffish in the best of circumstances. Feral
cats are more akin to wild raccoons than cuddly house pets,
hissing or scratching if you try to pick them up.
Andrea Swank, a 51-year-old freelance writer, had two of
her three strays bolt the first time she opened the crate
two winters ago. This only fed into the merriment of local
wags who mocked her efforts to employ feral cats to go after
the rat problem on her tony Lincoln Park block.
“You could hear the college girls screaming, ‘Rat!’ at
2 a.m.” as they walked beneath her bedroom window,
She said her neighbors tried high-tech traps, rat-repelling
frequencies and a “firecracker-looking thing that essentially
smothered [rats] in their tunnels.” None of them worked.
The crate where Nicolas Cuervo’s stray cats are living
for about a month to get used to him and life in his yard.
He hopes that once the cats are released they will stick
around to rid his yard of rats.
After Jeff, the stray that stayed, went to work, things changed.
The gray and white feline with steely green eyes started
killing off the baby rats and adults began to stay away as
Jeff marked his territory with his scent. No one is laughing
“Two people came back and gave me formal apologies,” she
Jeff now walks her and her children to school, sits on her
front porch on a heated seat and greets neighbors.
Victoria Thomas’s cats all bolted on the first day
she let them out of the crate four years ago, despite her
“I was feeding them tuna fish out of the can, rather
than Whiskas cat food,” said Ms. Thomas, a 43-year-old
artist and wine distributor. “I just really wanted
to spoil them.”
When Patch, Fluffy and Skinny flew the coop, she was heartbroken.
But she dutifully kept putting out food for them at the regular
time, and after a few days, they were back for good.
Bill Hurley, owner of Empirical Brewery, thought cats would
be too much of a pain to maintain in a battle to keep rats
out of the grain bags at the craft brewery. The process of
brewing “rings the dinner bell for rodents,” he
But he soon put his team to work designing a multiple-level
cat condo, which took a week to build. The tower comes with
a separate unit for litter boxes, a front porch where the
cats could sit and watch the world and multiple hiding spots.
Venkman, one of the feral cats that fights the rat problem
at Empirical Brewery in Chicago.
When the cats were first released, Mr. Hurley and his crew
never saw them, so they set up night cameras that sent alerts
to their phones whenever movement was detected.
The cats apparently decided they had a “pretty sweet
deal” and haven’t left, he said.
Now, the rats are gone, and people come on tours of the brewery
just to see the cats, Mr. Hurley said. One of the cats, Venkman,
is a social media star with his own Twitter page.
Ron Ohren, a partner at a law firm, built a feeding station
and installed a double-decker heated cat house, and added
a cat door to his bicycle room for the feral cats that arrived
from Tree House.
All three stuck around in the beginning, but despite the
plush setup, Bubbles and Buttercup fled, leaving only Blossom
on his Powerpuff Girl-themed team.
Now, other strays have shown up, keeping rats from scurrying
around his yard, like a Disney movie but “less cute,” he
Last winter, Mr. Ohren put on a parka and snow shoes and
trudged out to cut safe passages for the cats in the snow.
“Emotionally, I am hugely attached to them,” he said. “I obsess
them and am slavishly devoted to them.”
Still, Mr. Ohren gets little love back. The cats have never let him pet or carry
them. He is trying to reach out with treats to get the cats to eat out of his
hand, but with limited success.
“I’m OK with the bargain we’ve struck,” he said. Keeping
rats away “is enough.”
Mr. Cuervo, meanwhile, nervously awaits the day he has to release his cats. He
said the once-aloof and shy beasts are now making eye contact with him and don’t
get skittish even when the family dog is around.
He will release them after Halloween, so they don’t get spooked by revelers.
“I really want the cats to come back,” but these are cats after all,
acknowledges. “Who knows what will happen?”
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Kibble for Kitties
you have to do is go to freekibblekat.com,
play a simple trivia game and the site donates kibble to
needy animal shelters. It's free and you can play once a day, every day.
They obviously make a few bucks for themsleves but it's clear that the
majority of proceeds goes to the animals, so please stop in when you
PS, you can also totally
send some kitty vittles with just a click at theanimalrescuesite.com.
Just visit the site and press the big purple button. That's all there
is to it.
Need a custom web
site that's attractive, fast-loading, Google-friendly and,
relatively-speaking, dirt cheap? Then see my friends at X-Site-D
Web Creation. Tell
'em Mike sent ya!
link above and
help support the
My Infinite Gratitude
The following is
a relatively short yet very heartening list of those
who have contributed in
support of the Infinite Cat
of listing the names
in any intelligent way I decided to post them alphabetically.
It's not a perfect system, as those of you of Polish descent
get the shaft again <grin> but at least it helps me
keep the names straight.
In case you're wondering, names in white indicate donations
of $5 or less, while green notates donations
in excess of $10. The
lover who recently earned the prestigious "Quadruple Kittyhead"
for her generous and continuing support. (You know who you
are and I want to have your children.)
Adam, S. Adams, L. Aimone,
S. Almaguer, G. Ancell,
M. Axtell, A. Bachman,
D. Baker, O. Balaban, K. Berenson, H.
T. Blassingame, P. Blassingame,
A. Bolt, R. Bruner, J.
Bullas, A. Chiang, M. Cogen, D. Conlin, B. Coren,
M. Cracauer, D.Davis, M.
Dawson, J. Delton, T. Devrick, J. Diamond,
T. Dixon, C. Dofer, E. Dorfman,
B. Dutton, E. Fitzpatrick,
B. Fonteboa, E. Foss, B. Friesner, G. Garcia, M. Gordon,
A. Greeley, A. Gunn, J.
B. Harper, J. Hays, T.
D. Herbert, A. Hertz, M. Hester,
A. Hilbert, K. Hildebrandt, A.
Houser, V. Huston, , J.
Ikeda, B. Jones,
S. Jowett, P. Keachie, M. Knight, R.
W. Lee, M.
Lufkin, C. Lewis, K.
MacKenzie, M. Mcgann,
J. McGinnis, M. Mckercher,
S. Melhuish, T. Miles, D.
A. Neduha, A. Nelson, L. Nevins,
C. O'Brien, A. Ocean,
www.oldamericancentury.org, K. Orman, K.
Otto, Pinky & Bunny,
R. Owens, J. Pavlov, R. Perry, C. Phillips,
H. Pirani, C. Plant, R. Poletto, K. Pride, D.
Rakowski, R. Redman, R. Riitala, M. Ryan,
W. Ryngwelski, D. Sanders, M.
H. Sherwood-Taylor, J.
Sokel, S. Somero, M. Stabile, F. Street, J.P.
Thompson, D. Thoms, G. Toland, C. Ullrich,
J. van Luyt, A. Walls, J. Weisenfeld, K.
Welles, B. Wilkinson, J. Williams.