Guest Post With Cat Scout Felix

Hi everyone! We haven’t had a guest post in a while so let’s welcome Felix back!

33a--Felix-Cougar-Hat-Nov-2  Howdy, everybody!  Today I’d like to talk about “community cats” and ways we can all help make their lives better.  These cats are sometimes referred to as feral, but if they live in “colonies,” they’re really community kitties.  

Many of you probably already do rescue and rehabilitation or fostering work, but as you know, Spring brings lots of litters and so many more of our compatriots who need help and nurturing.  Community cats can live decent and long lives if they are properly cared for, and because they are taken care of by groups of people, they are more socialized than feral cats who are often single and solitary creatures who are wary of human contact.  220px-Feral_cat_with_clipped_earAlleyCatAllies

There are several national organizations that offer educational programs and assistance to communities wishing to start a local TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) Program.  Some of these have local state or city offices that can assist interested groups in setting up a community cat program.  They can also offer advocacy advice on how to work with your state and local governments to pass legislation favorable to TNR programs.  

These programs have been successful across the country, and one that you might like to check out is the ORCATS in Key Largo, FL.  The Ocean Reef Club (hence, ORCATS) has an incredible community cat program at the north end of the island.

Residents of this community funded a hospital and sheltering program for their large “feral” population, and their cats are very lucky, indeed!  They are fed and nurtured by all of the residents of the Ocean Reef community, and they have veterinary care and play/fostering. .ORCATS1  OCATS2

      ORCATS3

This successful program reduced the local feral population from 2000 cats to 500!

Best Friends in Utah was one of the earliest proponents of TNR, and along with the ASPCA in New York City and Alley Cat Allies in Bethesda Maryland, offers assistance to groups wishing to start a local TNR program. All of these organizations have state representatives ready to help you learn more, or start your own community cat program!

They also offer webinars and on-line information kits about getting involved in your community.  Go ahead and get involved!

Thank you for an excellent post Felix! Alley Cat Allies is one of my favorite groups.

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post by Cat Scout Maggie

Hi everyone! We have a special post today about grief from Cat Scout Maggie. There is always so much loss in The Cat Blogosphere that she thought it would be helpful.  32-Maggie-Cougar-Hat

Greetings, everyone!  We’ve all experienced the loss of a special furiend, or friend.  Aunty Ellen and we have been talking about grieving, so I’d like to share a few thoughts.  Some of these are based on what our petsitting mom has shared with us, and some are from our own observations.  I have not yet had to grieve, but my roommate Felix has done several times.

When our peeps lose a pet, they experience many different kinds of grief.  If an animal dies suddenly from an unexpected medical condition or an unfortunate accident, our humans suffer the most, because the loss of their dear pet was a total surprise.  In those instances, it’s important for us remaining pets to offer them lots of rubs and purrs so they know we are grieving with them.  We must also expect that our humans might be a little aloof because they are not thinking about US at the moment, but about the departed one. This type of grief can take a long time to subside.

In the case of a long illness, debilitating medical condition or just “old age,” grief takes a different form.  Our humans have purrhaps started the grieving process ahead of time while the pet is still alive.  Recognizing that the illness or condition will bring eventual loss may help our peeps cope more easily, and knowing that they can make the pet’s life more comfortable during the twilight time can bring much solace to them.  When the animal finally passes on, our humans have had time to prepare and not feel guilty.  We can really help at this time by just being as affectionate as we can, while not getting in the way.

In some cases, when a pet has a diagnosed condition, our peeps can be in denial or not ready to “cope” with the added care, procedures and expense that might be called for.  As the animal’s condition worsens, our humans can often panic or search for extraordinary means of “making things better,” when it’s probably already beyond their control.  When this type of pet succumbs to its condition, peeps can often have a terrible grieving period because they feel guilty at not having done enough.  They may regard us remaining pets with some anger or frustration, but our job is just to “be there” and be ready to love and be loved when our human is ready.

When our peeps grieve, it’s important that they share their loss with special family and friends who are also animal lovers.  This support group can offer a huge boost of love and energy when our peeps are depressed.  Often, these good friends will send flowers, gifts or memorials of various kinds, and they all help ease the pain of loss.

In our household, we are lucky to have adequate land for pet burial plots and commemoration areas.  Our mom has always held a “wake” for a departed furiend, and the remaining pets gather round to pay tribute and last respects to their late colleague.

Then, mom buries the dear departed pet in a special place in the garden.  Friends have often sent floral gifts, plaques and even a weathervane to honor the lost pet.

Zip flowers1 (2)            100_0003             100_0004  

Holding a wake, if it is possible, offers a way for our peeps to grieve with us, and we with them.  It allows a celebration of the departed one’s life, and helps turn that pet’s life into a pawsitive and happy experience rather than a frustrating, depressing or failed one.

For pets who are cremated, it’s nice to also hold a celebration so that our humans and any remaining pets can commemorate the departed one’s life while not being able to still see or smell that dear pet.  Some veterinarians and crematoria create “paw print” memory boxes so that our humans have something tangible to hold, touch and cherish in addition to their pet’s ashes.

Many peeps find it healing and therapeutic to create a memory book of their dear departed pets.  It can contain photographs, stories, comments from friends and admirers or whatever else helps celebrate the departed pet’s life and adventures.  Bloggers have a rich source of memory material with which to honor their departed furiends.

Grieving the loss of a pet is sometimes more acute than grieving the loss of another human family member or friend.  Our peeps must know and feel that we grieve with them, and we also grieve for them when they are ill, bedridden, depressed or anxious.  We pets help ease our humans’ pains, stress and worries, and we are grateful when they accord us the same honor as we age, get ill or meet an unexpected end to a glorious life.

Grieving is an essential part of healing, and we in the animal kingdom sometimes understand this better than our humans do.  Remember, rubs and purrs go a long way!

 

Thank you Maggie for this excellent post. I just want to add 2 links to other posts on grief that are well worth reading.

Dezisworld and Sonel’s World have both recently written about grief.

 

Guest Post Friday with Cat Scout Felix

33-Felix-ValentinesHappy Friday everyone. We are lucky to have a guest post with Cat Scout Felix today.

Greetings, dear readers!  In celebration of Valentine’s Day this Sunday, I thought it would be nice to pay homage to our ancestors, relatives and furiends!  We all know that we cats like to “contemplate the universe” when we’re resting or window gazing, and this wonderful little book celebrates our ability to cut to the chase.  Where Cats Meditate, compiled and published in 2003 by David Baird for Barron’s Educational Series, this beautifully illustrated book contains feline words of wisdom and philosophical musings from many cultures and centuries.  Here are a few excerpts:WhereCatsMeditate.jpg (2)

 

 

 

 

 

CatsMed1.jpg        CatsMed3.jpgCatsMed4.jpg

CatsMed5.jpgCatsMed6.jpg

 

 

 

Great addition to your libraries.  Purrs and rubs to you all!

Thank you Cat Scout Felix for another great post. 009We are participating in The Lazy Pit Bull’s Pet Blogger Bloopers Round-Up. As you can see this Valentine photo shoot didn’t go very well.

The Pet Blogger Bloopers Round-Up

Make sure you stop by tomorrow to enter our giveaway worth $100!

Guest Post with Cat Scout Maggie

Hi everyone, we are lucky to have Cat Scout Maggie here today for a guest post.32-Maggie-Cougar-Hat Hello, everybody!  Happy New Year! We’re sure you all received lots of books for Christmas, and I’d like to tell you about two of my favorites.  I’m still reading another one, so that will be covered in a future post!

First, an oldie but timeless goodie: T.S.Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was published in 1939 and has never been out of print.  It is a book of poetry that formed the basis for the hit musical “Cats,” and many editions have been illustrated.  Mine has great drawings by that wonderful fellow Edward Gorey.  The poems are humorous and serious, but all reflect the author’s great admiration for our feline world.  If you haven’t yet read it, I urge you to get a copy!TSEliot

 

 

JelliclecatsJellicle Cats

Another wonderful book, just published by Thames and Hudson, is Cats Galore, created by artist Susan Herbert.  CatsGalore

Herbert takes famous artworks and replaces the principal figures with feline ones.  From Botticelli’s Birth of Venus to the Sistine Chapel, from medieval prayer books to impressionist masterworks, our feline counterparts offer a new slant on art appreciation!

The book includes Cats in Art, Cats on Stage (including famous theater posters) and Cats in the Movies.  Ben Hur, Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia are but a few of the artist’s film interpretations using us as the stars!

Arnolfini

 

 

 

 

 

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Marriage, 1434

maltesefalcon.jpg (2) Maltese Falcon

romeouliet.jpg (2) Romeo and Juliet

Thank you Maggie for an excellent post.

I am sad to hear of another kitty going to The Bridge. Little Binky has lost her younger sister: Feline, FOREVER

Happy New Year! Guest Post from Cat Scout Felix

Happy 2016 everyone!  We are lucky to have Cat Scout Felix here to start out our year! .  Felixdressed

 

Hello, Everyone~!  I wish you all a very Happy New Year, filled with good health and good times!  I thought this would be a handy time to post some of my hopes for 2016, and I invite all of you to check out Cat Scouts if you have never visited.  We are an active group of kitties who do good works, share wonderful companionship and mutual support, engage in “higher learning” and pawticipate in some awesome educational and recreational events throughout the year.

We are sure since you follow the 15 and Meowing kitties that you are already active in  feline rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing efforts around the country.  For those of you who might not yet be engaged in any of those activities, we urge you to do so!  We cats can really make a difference when our humane activities and advocacy are shared across the social media platforms.  Yes, YOUR VOICE can make a difference in improving the lives of stray and feral kitties, foster and rescue programs,card2 and emergency relief during natural or man-made disasters.

If you’re already involved in any of these efforts, tell a friend and try to get more peeps and kitties involved!  If you’re a little hesitant because you “don’t have time, or aren’t sure what’s needed,” just jump in and get involved in your neighborhood, your state or your region.  Feline advocates around the world are very articulate and outspoken, so your voice will really count!  Your involvement with or support of rescue and advocacy efforts near you will be so rewarding to you and the beneficiaries!~

I hope for warm hearts and homes for all of the outdoor kitties who will be in distress this Winter.  I hope when there is a humane issue in your community, YOU let your voice be heard.  I hope for peace throughout the world, where our fellow animals suffer along with their humans due to war and other upheavals.

Wishing all of you purrs and rubs for a wonderful 2016!

wishes

Thank you for a great post Felix. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2016! Be sure to comment for a chance to win this Grumpy Cat stuff- and of course, I will add in some crocheted toys. 004

 

 

 

Guest Post Friday with Maggie

    Happy Friday everyone! Today we are lucky to have a guest post by Cat Scout Maggie.

Howdy, everyone, and Best Wishes of the Season!  Today I thought I’d share a Holiday book-giving list with you, either for gifting yourself or cat-loving friends.  These are all classics, and readily available on Amazon or through other outlets. Felix and I recommend them all paws up!

The Cat Who Came for Christmas, originally published in 1987 by Cleveland Amory, was later included in a trilogy by the same author.  This is the story of his beloved Polar Bear, found on Christmas Eve and adopted reluctantly by the author, due to his being badly scratched by the frightened kitty.  Needless to say, the cat soon won over his rescuer and became famous in New York City.  Amory was a well-known writer and humorist, and founded the Fund for the Animals.         CatWhoCame

Dewey, published in 2008 by Vicki Myron, is the story of a cat who was dropped down a library book return shoot on a very cold night in the Winter of 1988 in Spencer IA.    He immediately ingratiated himself with the Library staff and visitors, and became the “mascot” of the library.  He lived out his life guarding the Library until succumbing to a tumor in 2006. This is a heartwarming tale of friendship and community.  deweycover

Homer’s Odyssey, published by Gwen Cooper in 2010, is the story of a blind kitten rescued in Miami FL by the author, and then accepted by her other two cats.  Homer moved with his human to New York City and saved her from an intruder and withstood the trauma and separation brought on in the aftermath of 9-11. Although blind, Homer could jump to the top of bookcases and cupboards, and he could catch flies.  This is a story of unconditional love and the lengths a human will go to to protect her pet companions.   Homer

Trim, Being the True Story of a Brave Seafaring Cat, was a love lament dedicated to this fabulous cat by his human, the famous Australian navigator, Matthew Flinders.  The memoir was written in 1804 and has been republished many times, most recently by Nauticalia in the UK.  Together, Trim and his master circumnavigated the globe in the very late 18th century, and circumnavigated Australia as well.  On their return voyage to England, their ship was captured by the French and the two were imprisoned.  Trim met a foul end at the hands of a local native.  A rare first-hand account of a seafaring cat!

TrimBailey Boat Cat: Adventures of a Feline Afloat, published in 2014 by Louise Kennedy, is a beautifully photographed journal of life at sea from a feline perspective.  This very amusing book combines nautical wisdom and lore, the joy of sailing, trouble-shooting and navigating, and  the challenges of being a cat aboard a big boat on the open sea.  Bailey is an astute problem solver and observer of his environment and his social world.  Fun for landlubbers and salty dogs!  BBC

Thank you for those excellent recommendation Maggie.

Thank you to everyone for your comments, purrs and prayers for Stinky. I have decided to hold off on the MRI for now. She will go to her own vet next week which is what I should have done to begin with. I tested her twice and she blinks so I think she can see out of that eye. And she is acting completely normal so I hope that is a good sign. Please keep praying.

See you tomorrow for hopping. And make sure you comment to enter our Christmas giveaway. 040One of Cleveland Amory’s books is included in the giveaway.

 

 

 

 

Black Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Today is Black Friday in the U.S. and I am off to join the crowds of people looking for bargains. I thought today would be a perfect day to show this graphic about the joys of black cats that was made by Dave of sixcatsonedude:

http://sixcatsonedude.com/17-reasons-why-you-should-own-a-black-cat-infographic/

17-reasons-black-cat-final

See you tomorrow for lots of hopping.

Guest Post From Cat Scout Felix

Happy Friday everyone! We are pleased to have Cat Scout Felix here today to tell us about another seacat. And speaking of seacats, many of you know that Felix’s Mom runs the Museum of Maritime Pets , I am now a proud board member.

33-Felix-Hat Hello, everyone!  We are very proud that Ellen has joined the Board of the Museum of Maritime Pets.  They’re getting ready to mount a travelling exhibit entitled, “Creature Comforts,” which will travel throughout the U.S. in 2016.  More into soon on the website www.museumofmaritimepets.org   Our mom has to confess that our Cat Scout duties sometimes conflict with her museum ones!!

Today I wanted to relay another heartwarming kitty rescue and human bravery story.  This one originated in 1899 in Liverpool, England.  Unfortunately, no illustrations of the humans or kitty exist, just one of the massive 3-masted commercial sailing ship Hawksdale which we are unable to reproduce here, due to technical problems with our scanner!  Registered in Liverpool, Hawksdale sailed to Hamburg Germany to pick up its cargo of 500 pianos, bound for Melbourne, Australia.

One of the ship’s crew was a 17-year old apprentice named Aubrey Chaplin, who was allowed to bring his pet cat Freddy on board for company and as a pest-controller.  Captain William Steele and the crew liked the kitty very much, and he was allowed the run of the ship, always bunking with his master at bedtime. Freddy was a marmalade, and you know how friendly they are!

A few days after leaving Hamburg, Hawksdale encountered gale-force winds, and she went off course, running aground between Margate and Clacton-on-Sea, on England’s East Coast on the North Sea.. The crew attempted to launch one of the ship’s three lifeboats, but it capsized and three crew members drowned.  A second lifeboat broke from its fastenings and disappeared.  The sails were torn to pieces, and the masts were in danger of collapsing.

The crew feared for their lives, but their distress signals were finally picked up by the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution – equivalent to our Coast Guard).  The lifeboat crew approached as near as possible to the grounded ship, and after several attempts and many long arduous hours, Hawksdale‘s crew were all lifted to safety….except Aubrey, who realized at the last moment that he had forgotten his dear cat, still belowdecks.

Despite the urgings of the RNLI’s crew, Aubrey didn’t jump to safety, but he disappeared below to retrieve Freddy, who was asleep in his bunk.  Aubrey put him into a nearby sack, so he could not escape, and the two jumped to safety into one of the two waiting lifeboats.

Aubrey sustained a serious injury while jumping, and in the meantime, Freddy in his sack was nearly submerged in the water that had washed into the lifeboat.  His master had the presence of mind to “come to” and squeeze the water from the sack, holding it tightly for the nearly four hour (15 mile) trip back to shore at Clacton.  Aubrey didn’t know at that point whether Freddy was still alive, because there was no movement in the sack!

Twenty four crew were saved from Hawksdale, and Freddy was weak, but soon resuscitated with some warm milk.  He was taken in by Aubrey’s parents, never to set sail again.

Hawksdale‘s cargo was mostly salvaged by various tug and rescue boats, but the ship was a total loss.  Captain Steele lost his commission, but was later allowed back into service. In the meantime, young Aubrey chose to continue his maritime career, and he was given special leave from his new ship to travel to Dublin, Ireland, where the Lord Mayor and other dignitaries presented him with a silver medal from the Dublin Home for Starving and Forsaken Cats, in recognition of his bravery saving Freddy:

      “Presented to Mr. Aubrey F. Chaplin by Miss Alice M. Swifte, founder of the Dublin              Home for Starving and Forsaken Cats, in remembrance of his brave conduct in             saving the life of a cat, at the risk of his own, in time of shipwreck.”

The obverse of the Medal featured an engraving of a cat and his name, “Freddy.”

Thank you Felix for that amazing story.

Please stop by and visit Billy the Time Cat 

Rory Williams Forever

His Mom tried to rescue this poor feral .

 

 

Cat Museums and a Hop

Hi everyone! Last week when Cat Scout Maggie filled us in on Cat museums in the USA , she also told us about a cat house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I don’t know why, but the photo she included in the post did not appear. Here it is: FLWcathouseAll the details, including the blueprints can be found at Hausppanther: http://www.hauspanther.com/2014/08/01/vintage-cat-house-designed-by-frank-lloyd-wright-finds-new-home-at-feline-history-museum-in-alliance-ohio/

and Maggie’s Mom made a great photo of my Sammy with Maggie and Felix:

FLWcathousewFSP&MFeel free to add your kitties to the blank  photo above and post them on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/15andmeowing?ref=hl

And if you are in NYC, The Museum of Moving Image has a display running through January 31,2016 about how cats took over the internet. http://observer.com/2015/07/hello-kitty-new-exhibit-explores-the-history-of-cats-on-the-internet/#ixzz3gSiSqwdc

I am starting my hopping early this week-

I am co-hosting Feeling Beachie’s Blog Hop this week- please join in, I love to read people’s answers – it is a great way to learn more about each other.

Feeling Beachie

The statements:

  1. Birthdays are ______________________
  2. I am ___________, but I wish I was _________.
  3. ____ is my favorite ______.
  4. ________ is the best brand of __________.

My Answers:

1. Birthdays are FUN TO CELEBRATE THE WHOLE MONTH

2. I am FAT, but I wish I was THIN ( OR AVERAGE)

3. NICOLAS CAGE is my favorite ACTOR ( Just in case you didn’t know that 🙂 )

4. FRISKIES PARTY MIX is the best brand of CAT TREATS ( the kitties did this one)

 

 

 

 

Guest Post by Cat Scout Maggie

Hi everyone ! We are very lucky to have Cat Scout Maggie here with a guest post.

32--Maggie-Hat

Hello, everyone!  A few weeks ago my roommate Felix told you about a couple of cat museums in Holland and Singapore.  Today, I’ll share news about three cat museums right here in the States!

“If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but would deteriorate the cat.” Mark Twain

The Cat Museum of San Francisco is dedicated to exploring the relationship between people and their feline friends.  They are a fairly new museum (founded in 2010), and don’t have walls, but they have an active exhibition program and a fun website.  Their mission is to collect, exhibit and interpret various objects related to the CAT.

Visit them and read about our Egyptian ancestors and more at www.catmuseumsf.org.

The Egyptians came to associate the cat with the Goddess Bastet, with the image of the Goddess taking the form of a cat or a woman with the head of a cat. The cat itself became the living representative of the “Cat Goddess” within the Egyptian home, so much so that killing a cat was punishable by death. The cats’ nocturnal habits, reproductive abilities, protective/nurturing instincts and hunting skills all attached themselves to the Egyptian and later Greek and Roman Goddesses. egyptian cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next are two museums in Ohio.

The Feline Historical Museum, in Alliance OH, founded by the Cat Fanciers’ Association

One of its highlights is the Frank Lloyd Wright Cat House.  The 4-foot square piece was designed in 1954 specifically for a cat belonging a young girl. The design by Thomas Olsen, the site supervisor, was created under the direction of Frank Lloyd Wright, who had described his vision during a phone call with Olsen. Today, Wright (1867-1959) is recognized as the greatest American architect of all time, and the cat house is considered as one of his more unique designs.

 

On February 1, 2012 the Feline Historical Museum opened its first special collection featuring the Maneki Neko, commonly called the Japanese Welcoming Cat. These cats are recognized worldwide and are thought to bring good luck and fortune to those who keep them in their business establishment or home.

Thank you Maggie! Make sure you all comment today for a chance to win this pirate themed catnip mat – winner announced tomorrow:006