14

Celebrating Black Cats with Onyx

Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty. Today we’d like to introduce you to our cousin Onyx, our favorite black cat.

Hello everyone, I’m Onyx. I’m usually not in the spotlight because my younger, more assertive, sister Thunder generally hogs the blog. However, in honor of Halloween and Black Cat Appreciation Month, I convinced her to let me write about black cats and how cool we are. Here are some interesting facts and information about black kitties to make your October a little more cat-tastic!

Melanism 

Black cats have a condition known as melanism. This accounts for our black furs, and in many cats, our yellow eyes. Melanism is an overabundance of pigmentation, making it the flip side of albinism. However, even though black cats have extra pigmentation, we are still prone to sunburn and outdoor cats should plan their sunscreen accordingly. 

Black Breeds

Although many breeds can have black coloring in their fur patterns, only 22 breeds of cats can be genetically defined as a “black cat”. The most common breed of black cats is the Bombay (I happen to be a Bombay). Other breeds include the Chantilly-Tiffany, the Cornish Rex, the American Curl, the Japanese Bobtail, the Sphynx, and several Short-haired cats (such as British, Exotic, Oriental and American). 

Genetics 

While black is considered a dominant trait for fur color, to be truly classified as a black cat, both parents need to have the black trait. Fun fact- tabby is the most common pattern of black fur! 

Color Changes 

Certain conditions can change the black coloring of the fur. As black cats age, their furs may fade to grey or white. Additionally, if black cats get enough sun, their fur will highlight to a brown or a red-rust color. However, the rust color will return to black when the exposure to sunlight stops. Once the fur ages to white, the change is permanent. 

Immune Systems 

Black cats are believed to have better immune systems than other cats. Although the reason why is unknown, research has indicated that black cats have a lower chance of developing feline leukemia and feline HIV. 

Pawsome Personalities 

Although all cats have wonderful personalities, some typical personality traits you’ll find in a black cat include playfulness, high intelligence, curiosity, and friendliness. Black cats also tend to be very loyal companions, and adapt easily to changes. We’re also quite aware of our surroundings, and keen to stress and emotions in our humans. Because of this, black cats are often sweet and compassionate- I happen to know when my human is about to have a panic attack, and make sure I cling extra close to her until I can get her calm. Black cats would make great therapy cats! 

Adoption Issues  

Every cat deserves a loving forever home, no matter what color fur they have. Unfortunately, black cats have the lowest adoption rating of any color out there- but we also have the highest surrender rate of any color. 30% of all shelter intakes are black furred creatures. Because of the high give-up rates and low take home rates, black cats are more likely to be euthanized when the shelter runs out of space or if they don’t adopt out quickly enough- how cruel! And while many shelters won’t adopt out black cats during the month of October (especially the later weeks near Halloween), that still leaves 11 months out of the year to consider making your new family member a furry black one- or, at the very least, encouraging your circle to adopt a black cat!

Celebrations 

There are four formal recognitions of black cats nationally in America; three days and a whole month! August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day, October 27th is National Black Cat Day, Black Cat Friday in November (typically the closest Friday to November 13th); and the whole month of October is Black Cat Appreciation Month. 

Myths

There are several myths surrounding black cats. The most common one is that black cats are unlucky (this is particularly common in America and Europe), although in Japan a black cat signifies good luck. In Germany, the luck of the black cat depends on which direction it is walking on their encounter with you- left to right indicates good luck is coming, but right to left means bad luck is ahead. The Italians believe if a black cat jumps next to someone while they’re ill, that person will soon pass away.

Some cultures tie myths of wealth into black cats- in Scotland, some believe if a black cat appears on your porch, money will be coming to you soon. On the other hand, in China, black cats are thought to bring poverty with them. An older myth is that black cats are witches, and that witches kept black cats to sneak around and cast spells. It was believed that witches could shape shift into black cats, and even in current culture, black cats are often pictured alongside witches. This may be why black cats are associated with Halloween so frequently. 

Black Cats in Society 

Perhaps the most famous black cat in American society today would be Salem, the companion of Sabrina from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”. Other televised black cats are Luna from “Sailor Moon”, Felix the Cat (an animated character from when animation was becoming popular) and Snowball II from “The Simpsons”. Black cats have also made companions to famous people, including India, the cat of former American president George W. Bush, and Gladstone, the official cat of the HM Treasury in the UK. There is also Hodge, the kitty of author Samuel Johnson.

There are cats famous from literature, such as Mr. Mistofflees from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S Elliot (and the musical “Cats); Pluto from “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allen Poe; and Behemoth from “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Buglakov. Some other notable black cats are Blackie, the cat who inherited millions of dollars; Homer, the blind wonder cat; Trim, the first kitty to circumnavigate Australia and who saved his human during the journey; and Oscar the bionic cat, a double back leg amputee with prosthetic paws. 

I truly enjoyed writing this post, and I hope you enjoyed reading about the magnificent black cats of the world. Next time you encounter a black cat, please treat them with kindness (and soak in their good looks), and if you need a new furry member in your life, think about bringing one home!

Wishing you all a safe and fun Halloween, with furs and purrs, 

Onyx Katt

18

The RHCCC: Homecoming Game – Part 2

Cute cat with a football helmet on. | Cats, Pet holiday, Pet costumes

Where we are: Miki’s son Steve is the backup quarterback on the Crabapple Cove High School football team. He led the team to one victory before returning to backup status. It’s the middle of the game before Homecoming, his team is down 28-3, and the coach has just put him into the game. You can read Part 1 here.

Steve ran out to the huddle and called the play. They slowly moved the ball down the field and eventually scored. The defense came back to life and stopped the other team. Eventually, Crabapple Cove managed to pull out a 34-31 victory. Steve was ecstatic. He was sure he was going to be the quarterback for Homecoming.

How to Make Your Cat a Happy Cat - Delavan Lakes Veterinary Clinic

Steve: Mom! Did you see that? I went into the game, and we won!

Miki: I’m so proud of you, Steve! Great job!

Giselle: Congrats, little brother!

She didn’t want to tell him that the cheerleaders had been talking about how weird it was that the defense had suddenly improved so much once Steve was in the game. The rumor was that Steve’s friend Kyle had thought Steve deserved the starting job. Kyle had convinced some of the other guys to not play as hard as they could for Chad.

By Saturday afternoon, the rumors had reached Steve.

How to Keep Your Kitty Safe and Warm All Winter | Blog | Animal League

Steve: Mom, people are saying that I wasn’t really that great. It was just that the defense wasn’t trying in the first half. What should I do?

Miki: You need to talk to Kyle and find out what he said. After all, the defense did improve, but the team didn’t score a touchdown in the first half and that didn’t have anything to do with the defense.

Steve: Good point, Mom. A bunch of the guys are getting together tonight. Maybe I can find out what’s going on.

Steve went over to Joey’s house where several of the players were hanging out. When he got there, the guys started cheering. But Steve was too upset to enjoy it.

Idle Miner Tycoon on Twitter: "We shall work together as a team today!  #teamwork #team #cats #gamedev #indiedev #indiegame https://t.co/aS0M4un73q"

Steve: Kyle, people are saying I didn’t deserve to play. You guys were just throwing the game to get me in.

Kyle: What difference does it make how you got in? We needed you, man. Chad was not having a good night.

Steve: We’re a team. Everyone’s supposed to play their best.

Joey: What makes you think we weren’t playing our best?

funwari□□□羊毛フェルト FIGHT!! 応援猫ちゃん - ヤフオク! | Cute animals, Cute cats, Cute  baby animals

Steve: The cheerleaders said that Kyle got the defense to slack off so Chad would look bad, and I’d get to play.

Lyle: That’s dumb cheerleader talk. We can’t make Chad look bad. We don’t even play at the same time.

Joey: Nothing seemed to be going right in the first half. We just got back on track after halftime. Coach made some adjustments, and they worked. Nothing to do with Chad really.

Kyle: He did have a really bad night. But that’s not on us.

How Cats Play

Steve went over to see Chad on Sunday.

Steve: Hey, Chad. How are you?

Chad: Hey. Guess I handed you the starting job Friday night. I stunk up the place.

Steve: It wasn’t that bad.

Chad: I couldn’t get my head in the game. Guess the pressure got to me. Think I should just quit the team?

Steve: Why would you quit?

Chad: Coach told me after the game that I wouldn’t be starting anymore. At least for a while. Didn’t he talk to you?

Steve: No, I didn’t hear anything. Neither did anyone else. I’m really sorry. I thought we made kind of a good team.

Chad: I don’t know what I’m going to do. I really thought I was better.

What are the signs of feline friendship? – PoC

They were tossing the football back and forth while they were talking. As they move further and further apart, Steve had an idea. Chad agreed to talk to Coach with him about it the next day before practice. Coach signed on and made an announcement at practice.

Coach: I have decided that Steve is going to be our starting quarterback at Homecoming this Friday. Chad will be backup. But they have come up with an idea for Chad to get more playing time than the usual backup. They have designed a couple of plays with Chad playing wide receiver that we are going to work on this week. Hopefully, they will be a secret weapon against Beagle Bay Friday night.

The team cheered. Chad was a popular player, and the others wanted him to succeed. Practice went well all week. The school was somewhat surprised to see so little drama from their “quarterback debate.”

110 Cats in crowns ideas in 2021 | cats, cute animals, crazy cats

Friday night was clear. The Homecoming floats surrounded the field. The stands were full of cheering fans. Chad and his girlfriend were announced as King and Queen at halftime.

Crabapple Cove had scored a quick touchdown on the first play of the game, but neither team had scored since. Coach was holding off on his special plays for the second half. He gave a fairly short talk after the halftime festivities.

Coach: Great job so far guys! Chad’s going to be going in as wide receiver for the second half, and we’re going to try to catch them off guard on the first play. Keep your heads in the game and win this thing!

Two Cats giving each other's high five: aww

As they ran back onto the field, Steve and Chad bumped chests, grinning. The huddle broke, and Chad went deep. Steve threw a perfect spiral into his arms. Chad raced into the end zone for a touchdown less than a minute into the half. Beagle Bay looked stunned.

Steve and Chad were close to the perfect team for the rest of the game. The offensive line protected them well, and the game ended in a 28-3 victory. By Monday morning, they were both football stars.

Two cat buddies walking down the street #catfriends #catbuddies #friendship  #twocats | Cute cats, Pretty cats, Cute cats and kittens

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

17

The RHCCC: Homecoming Game

Boomer Esiason named commissioner of football league for cats -  CBSSports.com

Miki’s son Steve was the backup quarterback on the Crabapple Cove High School football team. He usually got to play for a few minutes at the end of the game, but didn’t have much experience. He came home from practice one day really excited.

Steve: Guess what! I’m the starting quarterback on Friday!

Giselle: What happened? Someone teach pigs how to fly?

Steve: Very funny, sis. Chad has to go out of town with his family, so I get to play.

!!!!!THE BIG CATS CLUB!!!! - Tagged

Miki: That’s wonderful, sweetie. I hope those big cats don’t hurt you.

Steve: Mom! That’s why I have big cat protecting me. I’ll be fine.

Giselle: Are you sure you’re ready? The last time they let you touch the ball, you dropped it.

Steve: That wasn’t my fault. Ralph fumbled the snap. Even the coach said he messed up. It was the last play. We would have done better the next time.

Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl and Rachael Ray's Nutrish for Cats  #kittenbowl - About a Mom

Steve was right. He played well on Friday, and the team won. It was the first time they had beaten Sutters’ Bay in five years. By Monday, Steve was a hero at school. Chad came back to find out that he had competition for the starting position.

Chad: It’s not fair! I only missed a couple of days. I’m better than he is.

Coach: Maybe yes. Maybe no. Steve’s been working hard, and he looked good on Friday. I want to see both of you side-by-side for a couple of days. Homecoming’s next week. We need the best guy for the job.

Chad: Fine. But it won’t be him.

How To Stop Cats Fighting Over Territory [A Complete Guide]

Chad and Steve were friends, but the competition was fierce. They each wanted to start against Kingston on Friday to showcase their skills. Steve was excited about his chances. He couldn’t stop talking about it when he saw his girlfriend Diane.

Steve: Can you believe it? I could be the quarterback for Homecoming!

Diane: That’s great, Steve! Do you think that would make us more likely to be on the Homecoming Court? I’d really love to be Homecoming Queen.

Steve: You’re not going to be Queen. We’re not seniors, remember? They always pick seniors.

Diane: Yeah, I guess you’re right. It’d still be nice to date the starting quarterback. When do you find out?

Steve: Coach said that he was going to watch both of us this week and decide on Thursday who gets to start on Friday. That will determine who plays at Homecoming.

How Cats Play

Both boys worked hard all week. The team looked better than it had in a long time. Finally it was time for Coach’s decision. At the end of Thursday’s practice, he gathered the team.

Coach: I’ve been watching closely, and I think we have two great quarterbacks. For tomorrow’s game, I’ve decided that I want to go with experience; Chad will be starting.

Steve’s heart sank. He had been sure he’d won the job. Now he was supposed to go back to riding the bench. He showered and left, dejected.

Juno the Angry Cat isn't actually angry, owner says - New York Daily News

Steve: Mom, this is so unfair! I worked really hard! I should be starting tomorrow.

Miki: I know. Did Coach say anything about whether you’d get to play?

Steve: Not really. He just said that Chad was starting. I left as soon as I could. I don’t even want to go tomorrow.

Miki: I understand it’s really disappointing. But you have to go back. You’re still part of the team, and they need you. You can show that you’re a leader by doing whatever you can to help them.

Steve: I guess.

Goal Kitty, A Gorgeous Cat With Unique Markings Who Loves to Raise Her  Front Paws and Cheer

Steve showed up the next night and cheered for Chad and the rest of the team. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to be helping. By halftime, Crabapple Cove was down 28-3. The team went into the locker room silently. Chad sat with his head down while Coach tried to rally their spirits.

Finally, Steve stood up.

Steve: Guys, c’mon. You’re better than this. Don’t let Kingston walk all over you. We beat Sutters’ Bay last week, and these guys stink compared to them. I know you can do it. Let’s go out there and roar!

Animals on the Playing Field - The Atlantic

The team looked at him like he was crazy. But Steve kept talking and finally they started nodding. The team walked back onto the field with their heads high.

Then Chad was sacked on the first play of the second half.

Coach: Steve, put on your helmet. You’re going in.

Next week: Can Steve spark a comeback and win the starting position for Homecoming?

100 Rescue Cats To Appear In Kitten Bowl III - CatTime

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

Our Pawsome Paws

Problems With Your Cat's Paws: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

Every once in a while, we like to try to educate our human readers. Today we are sharing some fun facts about our paws. We use them for walking, running, jumping, self-defense, and hunting. We have five toes on the front paws and four on the the back paws. (The extra toe in front functions as a sort of gripper or “thumb.”) They’re the most sensitive part of our bodies, but also the strongest.

Our paws may not be able to open tuna cans, but they are truly amazing. Check out all the things we can do with our furry little feet:

So Your Cat Thinks He's a Tiger - Catwatch Newsletter

Feel Sensations from the Ground

We have a huge number of nerve receptors in our paws. (Tickle them at your own peril!) These nerve receptors help us with our incredible balance. They also help us feel the ground for vibrations and gravity. Excellent aids for tracking prey. We use our paws to test temperature and the safety of a surface.

What Movement and Gait Tell You About Your Cat | Fear Free Happy Homes

Walk on our Toes

We are never caught flat-footed because we always walk on our toes. (That’s called digitigrade.) It keeps us extra-quiet when we move and lets us move faster when we choose. Very useful when pouncing and hunting.

Why Does My Cat Wave Its Paw at Me and Other Funny Cat Habits Explained •  IttyKitty.com

Dominant Front Paw

Know how you humans are usually left-handed or right-handed? Same for us. Almost all cats are either left-pawed or right-pawed. (Some studies show that males are right-pawed, while females are left-pawed.)

Fur Laughs: 7 Cats Who Tried To Make A Jump But Didn't Even Come Close  [VIDEOS] - CatTime

Built-In Shock Absorbers

Our paws are what let us land safely from high jumps. They also help us walk on rocks, weeds, and other rough stuff. They help us walk quietly so we can sneak up on prey (and humans). We don’t like to use them too roughly though, because of all of those nerve endings.

Hot Weather Precautions — Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon

Built-In Climate Control

We prefer to stay cool. But if we get out in the heat or are stressed, we can sweat through our paws. If you notice a trail of sweaty paw prints, please help us cool/calm down.

Why Do Cats Scratch? | CLAWGUARD

Communication Tools

We have scent glands between our paw pads that are activated when we scratch things. That way, we can let other kitties (and lesser creatures) know that we have been there. We also have scent glands on the pads of our rear paws that help spread the word.

Paw Reading Is Japan's Newest Cat Trend - PetGuide

Pawlm Reading (see more at https://kakato.com/blogs/learn-read-cats-paw-one-minute/)

Some humans believe that our paws tell a lot about our personalities. The markings and shape of the paw tell about our character. The dewclaw is the lifeline, the first digital pad on the right is luck, the second pad is intelligence, the third pad is love, and the fourth is appetite.

10 Facts About Tuxedo Cats – Waffles the Cat

Matching Pads and Fur

Our pads usually parallel our fur coats. For example, tuxies usually have black spots on their paw pads and light-colored cats usually have light-colored paw pads.

the Importance of climbing for indoor cats by cat behaviourist Anita Kelsey

Paws are Super Flexible

Our paws bend and turn on our “wrists.” Our front paws can turn inward to help us sink our claws into whatever we are climbing. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in reverse if we climb too high to jump down.) This flexibility also helps make us so well-balanced.

New Documentary Condemns Declawing of Cats; Who Is Right?

Humans can help us maintain our paws by checking them out once a week. Gunk can get trapped between our toes (especially if we’re long-haired), and cause irritation. We can also be allergic to things we walk through. Pads that are swollen, soft, bleeding, ulcerated, or scaly are all potential problems.

However, if there isn’t a problem, leave our feet alone!

The cat's meow | The Humane Society of the United States

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

18

Thunder Katt: Best of Baby

Hello everyone! It’s Thunder, and I have a special post for everyone today. About a year ago, Mom and Dad got us a human kitten (we did so good with him, they’re bringing us another one soon)! At first, we were really nervous, because we heard human kittens were loud, stinky, and messy- yuck! While all of these have proven to be true, he also proved to be more trainable than the adults (he already gives tummy rubs!) and he comes with some really cool things that cats everywhere can enjoy. So without further ado, here is the 2021 Best of Baby, as voted on by Angel, Onyx, and me!

Baby Carrier

This has proven to be a wonderful asset to our house. Despite it smelling like the human kitten, a cat can curl up for a nap, play with the straps, or cuddle with the human kitten if he’s still in it. As an added bonus, there’s often a soft blanket tossed in it to keep everyone warm!

Some Baby Foods

I need to start by emphasizing the “some” part of this, as babies tend to eat yucky foods like green beans and peas. However, they also drink this wonderful concoction called “formula” (our human kitten has to drink the dairy-free version due to an allergy, but it still tastes good). They also have cereals that some kitties may enjoy. And, we recently discovered that older babies get meat mixed in their purees. Just really sniff before licking, as there are some very gross flavors out there.

Car Seat

Much like the carrier, these seats are padded and soft, and make great nap spots. You can also sit on them and watch cat TV. However, be careful, as ours stays in the car if it doesn’t need to be washed, and you don’t want to get stuck on a car ride.

Packaged Diapers

I will start by saying these diapers must be clean, and preferably in the package. Once they are used, diapers move to the top of the worst of baby list. However, in the package, diapers are soft but firm, making them good to lounge on. If you can get a clean one by itself, they make decent targets for hunting practice. I would not advise napping on the pack of diapers, as you’ll be disturbed far more frequently than acceptable. Human kittens go through too many diapers for the effort of curling up for a good nap. 

Crib

This seems like an obvious choice. It’s a human kitten bed! These are preferable for bed time in the summer, as most human kittens don’t sleep with fluffy blankets until they’re older (feel free to switch back to your big human bed in the winter). Just make sure you get to the crib before the baby so you get the best spot. 

Baby Swing

These act much like carriers, but you can have your human turn them on so they move and vibrate! Some play music, but that’s just annoying. Avoid pouncing in them, as the swinging motion will upset your balance and make you stumble. 

High Chair

There are several advantages to this human kitten feeding center. First and most obvious, you can get food! However, they also have trays you can sit on and receive pets from the human kitten (make sure the tray is clean prior to sitting). Many have storage nets attached to the bottom where you can nap. And, if nothing else, you can sit in the seat and claim your rightful spot at the table. 

Play Mats and Pens

This is where you’re most likely to get one-on-one time with your human kitten. You can lounge by yourself and enjoy the daily sun, or you can cuddle up to your human kitten. You can also use these to teach proper hunting technique, or to get some tummy time in. And, if they have a play pen, you can store your mousies in there. 

Stroller

I see this more as a lounger, since that’s what I do in it, but if your big humans insist on using it to stroll with the human, make sure you get the most use out of it when it’s collapsed inside. Otherwise your humans may try to push you around, which will impair your natural feline independence. 

Walker

Again, I think of this more as a sitter… humans are quite odd in their namings. You can sit in the comfortable fabric seat and swat at the attached toys for hours of fun and play! 

Toys

Human kittens have tons of cool toys to swat around! Balls, little cars, stuffed animals, things with pushy buttons and moveable parts… and they’ll usually play with you! I’ve been able to train my human kitten to play paws through his desire of pushing a ball back and forth with me! 

Boxes

Every cat loves boxes! And luckily for us, we found out that everything for babies comes in boxes (and usually has foam wrapping as an added bonus)! As soon as the item is removed, jump in the box to claim it. You’ll be so cute, your big human won’t have the heart to get rid of the box, and soon you’ll have a great selection to hide in when you need a break from the human kitten!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Best of Baby, Thunder K. Katt style! Please note that this list was not printed in any particular order, and everything on this list has been tested and approved by 3 cats of different ages. If you have a human kitten in your life, best of luck to you with raising them; and if not, enjoy your quiet and peace!

Furs and purrs,

Thunder Katt 

16

Job Seeker Profiles on Cats4Hire

How to Cat Nap at Work - Amazing!!

In honor of US Labor Day, we thought that we would profile some of the cats currently looking for work on Cats4Hire. Wikipedia defines a working cats as a “type of domestic cat that “works” for its upkeep by hunting vermin.” However, cats can do so much more than that.

16 Cats and money ideas | cats, animals, money cat

Name: Rex

Desired Position: Cashier

Skills: Money handling; Ability to tell counterfeit bills from real ones

Why Me?: Proven track record of destroying bad money.

World's First Cat Lifeguard - YouTube

Name: Duke

Desired Position: Lifeguard

Skills: Swimming, Can identify a “beach fashion faux pas” at 20 paces

Why Me?: I don’t require a separate break room/bathroom.

5 Reasons Cats Love Bathrooms | Catster

Name: Giselle

 Desired Position: Bathroom Sentry

Skills: Ability to adapt to working conditions; Ability to not gag or laugh at humans in compromising positions

Why Me?: I fit nicely into any decor.

Cat and Rat's Adorable Friendship Shatters Stereotypes - ABC News

Name: Portia

Desired Position: Baby-sitter

Skills: Patience; Willingness to work with all types of children

Why Me?: Proven track record of not eating my clients.

We just got a new kitten, needless to say she's taken a liking to our dog.:  aww

Name: Max

Desired Position: Dog Wrangler

Skills: Fearless; Intimidating

Why Me?: I work through cooperation, not intimidation.

6-Awesome-Cat-Exercise-Wheels-that-will-blow-your-mind

Name: Boomer

Desired Position: Trainer

Skills: Excellent muscle control; Loud voice

Why Me?: I can intimidate with one look.

Cat Nap Marathon

Name: Cuddles

Desired Position: Pillow Tester

Skills: Flexible; Ability to sleep anywhere

Why Me?: Doesn’t your company want the “aww” factor?

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

25

Thunder Katt: Snacks from the Human Side

Lolcats - snack - LOL at Funny Cat Memes - Funny cat pictures with words on  them - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny cat pictures with words on

Snoops and Kommando here. Mom’s brain has decided to take a summer break. Fortunately for us, cousin Thunder was able to come to the rescue and give us this yummy post. Thanks, Thunder!

Greetings friends, both furry and non furry alike! Thunder Katt here, and today I’m doing a sort of follow up to my tummy facts blog. I’m here to outline some nutrition facts and tips on human foods favored by me and my sisters, Angel and Onyx. If you have a favorite human treat that isn’t listed, just know that means two things: you have a wonderful palate, and the calories don’t count, so eat as much as you want! (Ed. Note: Thunder is exaggerating. Please snack responsibly.)

Please also note that while all three of us love dairy, including cheese, ice cream and whipped cream, there aren’t many benefits to cats eating dairy products. Due to lack of helpful information, dairy products have been left off the list. We also left off meats and fish, since most cats enjoy these as we are obligate carnivores. 

Lettuce

As many of you may know by now, a preferred Thunder treat is lettuce! I like iceberg the best, but have also been known to chow down on butter lettuce, romaine lettuce, and leafy things that look like lettuce, such as kale. Lettuce can actually help hydrate and cool you down in the hot summer months. Lettuce also has vitamins A and C, which helps with our furs and vision, along with a small amount of iron and folate for overall health. Some lettuce also has potassium, which again helps with our vision. There is a small amount of calcium in lettuce, which can be converted into crude fats in cats. Just make sure you don’t get too much calcium (generally not a risk from eating lettuce), as it can cause deposits in your fatty stores that will eventually make you sick. 

Squash

All three of us have been known to eat butternut squash (it’s a favorite food for the human kitten, so we seem to have a lot of it). Before enjoying this food, be warned that it is orange and will stain furs that are lighter in hue (like my white chest and tummy) so proceed with caution if eating squash in puree form. Squash is generally relatively bland by itself, making it ideal for cats with more sensitive tummies. While you can sweeten up squash with brown sugar or butter, it tastes just as good plain. This superfood actually provides all of your key vitamins, including A, C, K, and magnesium. It also provides vitamin E, folate, and B vitamins. While all of these vitamins provide benefits to cats in small amounts, don’t overdo the squash; our bodies are not meant to process a lot of magnesium and vitamin B in one sitting. However, since you would need over a cup of squash to reach these levels in an eight-pound cat, I say there isn’t much need to worry, and feast away on some squash cubes or puree! 

Grapes

I discovered grapes for the first time about a week ago. They’re wonderful! Not only are they small enough to bat around, they’re cool, which helps with the summer heat. They come on a cool stem/vine that you can chew on (Mom won’t let me do this, but when she isn’t looking it’s fun)! You can pounce in the bag they arrive in for hunting practice. And, best of all for our health, in addition to carbs and protein, grapes also have an abundance of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as thiamine. They also provide a small amount of iron and calcium. I would definitely give grapes a try if you haven’t already. 

Cherries

Cherries are actually not really recommended for cats, since they are considered a stone fruit due to the pits. These puts not only prevent a choking hazard, but we cannot digest the pit if ingested. However, Angel keeps licking the meat of the fruit, which seems to be okay (she typically only gets one or two; we don’t want to risk making her sick). Assuming you avoid the pit and stem, cherries can benefit cats by offering the typical vitamins (A, C, and K), along with magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants. These sound like a great idea when your human brings home the office cold and wants to snuggle right up with you! 

Oatmeal

Another Angel recommended food is oatmeal, especially mixed with applesauce. Be very careful if trying this food, as oatmeal is hot and it’s very easy to burn our noses. While oatmeal by itself is bland, you can flavor it very easily (like with applesauce, vanilla, or another flavor of your choosing). The benefits of oatmeal include magnesium and thiamine. Just make sure to eat it before it dries to the dish, and be warned of its sticky nature, as it can get stuck in your furs and whiskers. 

Applesauce 

Our humans insist on buying the unsweetened stuff (yuck!) since the human kitten eats it as his nighttime snack, but Angel doesn’t seem to mind it. I think she likes the cool, thick consistency of it. Avoid the cinnamon applesauce, as cinnamon is not always agreeable with the digestive tracts of cats. If you choose this Angel recommended treat, know that you are also getting vitamins A, B, C, K, and magnesium, as well as calcium. Apples are fairly high in sugar, so it’s best to limit your intake on this (even if you do get the yucky- I’m sorry, unsweetened-) sauce.

Oat milk

This is definitely another Angel treat! I was so disappointed when I was told my human kitten couldn’t tolerate cow’s milk, so we had to start buying oat milk. We buy the vanilla flavored milk, so I guess Angel finds it tolerable. Like dairy based milk, you don’t want to gouge yourself on this, as there are proteins in there that cats have a hard time with, and a lot of calcium. However, if you do find yourself lapping up a little oat milk, know you’re getting vitamins A, K, and D, as well as iron, fiber and riboflavin. Again, be warned of the calcium content in this drink, and enjoy sparingly. 

Chips 

The one human food Onyx has ventured to try is a quinoa chip. I myself happen to enjoy corn and tortilla chips, and Angel and I both enjoy the flavored chips, such as pizza, spicy, and sour cream. Overall, chips are not healthy, and should be enjoyed on rare occasions as a treat. However, since you’re already indulging on chips, might I recommend you try nachos? These cheesy, meaty chips are absolutely wonderful! 

Popcorn

Angel started eating popcorn the day she came home from the shelter. This crunchy treat is best for us if it’s low in salt and oil. Some benefits of non salty, non oily popcorn include vitamins A, B, and E. Be careful to chew this thoroughly to avoid choking, and have your human remove all kernels prior to eating. 

Crackers

I discovered the joy of Club Crackers the other day. They’re a bit difficult to eat, as they’re so flat, but the salty, baked cracker taste was definitely worth the difficulty of dragging it away and eating. Again, be sure to chew these all the way through so you don’t choke. While enjoying your cracker, note that you are also getting vitamins B and C, though not much else; eat as a dessert or as an occasional snack. 

I do know some kitties, my cousin Snoops included, enjoy sweets. And I’m sure you each have a unique treat you enjoy for yourselves. Keep trying new things, and hopefully you find some new treats to enjoy. But also remember that if something your human offers you is yucky and below standards, it is more than acceptable to stick your nose up, flick your tail and stroll away. They’ll learn eventually. Keep munching and crunching away!

Furs and purrs,

Thunder Katt

19

Thunder Katt: Fun with Your Human

We’d like to welcome our cousin Thunder back for this week’s post.

Hello everyone! It’s Thunder, and today I’m going to be giving you ideas on what you and your human companion can do for fun and bonding during the heatwave months of summer!

As some of you may recall, I am a Michigan kitty. In the winter, spring, and fall, this is excellent, because it’s typically cool enough to cuddle and nap all day, and there’s always something on Cat TV! Unfortunately, from about mid-May to mid-September, we have summer. As I discovered, summer is hot, humid, sticky, and gross. This leads to my humans whining that it’s too hot to cuddle (obviously they’re wrong, but have you ever tried correcting a human?) and even to Cat TV being put on pause due to rain storms. It’s an overall sucky season! Thankfully, there are still things to be done to ensure both you and your human are entertained. 

Play hide and seek

This is inspired by my sister, Angel. It works similar to the human kitten version of the game. Basically, while your human is distracted, decide where you’re going to hide (some favorite spots for us include behind the stove, under the sofa, and behind the laundry facilities). Then, when your human is in another room, stealthily position yourself in your spot. It’ll take a couple of minutes before your human realizes it’s game time, so you may be able to get a nap in. Once your human misses you, the fun begins! Watch in amusement as they search for you. Make sure you ignore their calls of “here, kitty!”, and only come out if a litter break is needed or if rare treats are offered. When they find you, simply choose a new spot and start over!

Hunting practice 

Tired of your human losing the best mice you found? Take the off mousing season to practice hunting with them! Our favorite targets are stink bugs, spiders, flies, and moths. The first couple of targets you’ll have to demonstrate how to catch the prey, but after the first 10 or so, give your human a chance (just be sure to be ready to swoop in and make the kill. Humans need a lot of support). Also, make sure they’re not afraid of the target you chose for them. We decided to let Mom go after a huge moth, but apparently she’s terrified of them, so it led to her sitting on the sofa crying while Dad chased and captured it. We thought it was funny. They did not. 

Start a collection together 

You can piggyback off your hunting practice, or you can choose a totally inanimate object to collect together. Some personal choices for us include stink bugs and flies (that’s a pure Thunder K. Katt choice!), pacifiers (human kitten just spits them out, and they’re fun to bat around), hair ties, lip balm tubes, and bath poufs (Onyx is obsessed with them. We just let her be). If your human is actually organized and keeps things tidy, try helping them collect pens, rubber bands, paper, and shopping receipts. Should your human attempt to clean up your collection, simply take it back out and drop it in a more pertinent spot for them (such as their pillow). They’ll catch on eventually, and hopefully start adding pieces of their own. If you need an easy starter, try toy mousies or balls. They’ll think it’s cute and be more likely to participate. 

Do food and beverage tastings 

Apparently humans have a thing called “wine tastings”, and in addition to the wine, there’s often cheese, olives, and nuts. Because wine, olives and nuts are not cat friendly (and we all know cheese is delicious- no sample needed on that), I would advise a slightly different approach. Find a cat friendly food that you normally would avoid, and give it a couple nibbles. I’ve tried lettuce, Angel has tried oatmeal, Onyx tried a quinoa chip, and all of us have tried butternut squash. In return, try offering your human some catnip or silver vine, or even some wet food gravy. Make sure you clean your palate between tastings by using their water glass. And always request extra ice, it helps you stay cool in the heat. 

Lounge

I’ve found that humans tend to lounge under a fan or in front of the air conditioner when they get hot. What a purrfect opportunity to lounge next to them, tummy side up, and allow them to enjoy your company! They won’t complain about you making them hot, you’ll get tummy rubs and attention, and the fan will also cool you off. Please note that some humans are not good at just laying there, so you may have to demonstrate a few times prior to any big successes. 

Invite your human to watch Cat TV 

This is contingent on storms and rain not ruining the cat TV channels (Michigan has been horrible about that this year). The best way to do this is to find the largest window in your house. Choose your spot first (feel free to nudge things around as needed), and create a spot for your human. Once you find a good show, start meowing loudly and often, until a human comes by. At that point, grab them with your paw and pull them towards you and the show. Hopefully you can enjoy a nice bird or squirrel show together. 

Do computer work together 

When your human is on the computer, be it shopping, work, or video watching, join in on the fun! You can plop in front of their screen, sit on the keyboard, play with their mouse, or help organize their desk area. Some kitties prefer to walk back and forth, which is a good option if you need attention and they have a deadline to meet. Some more technology-savvy kitties may be able to operate functions on the computer for their human- I can open new pages, adjust text size, and unmute the volume. If your human gets irritated, I would choose to sit on their wrist while they type or navigate the mouse. Out of the way, but still with your human (this trick was taught by Onyx).

Massages

This is a very literal you scratch my back, I scratch yours situation. Approach your human wanting pets. After an appropriate amount of petting (make sure not to sit down and get comfortable), either jump on and off of them really fast, keep walking back and forth across them, or stand (don’t sit) on a pressure point and purr (you can toss in some head bonks if wanted). Keep up this pattern until they’re satisfied with their cat massage, or until you find something better to do. An added benefit for you is the likelihood of loose, itchy furs being removed during the petting process. Don’t be alarmed if your human yelps a little during their massage- it’s the tension leaving them. 

Hopefully you and your human can have an enjoyable summer together! Stay safe, stay cool, and enjoy the time with your human. Don’t let the rain get you down, and keep your furs cool and brushed. And remember, cuddle weather will be back before you know it! 

Furs and purrs,

Thunder K. Katt

ass

14

The RHCCC: Mousing School

4 Ways To Get Into 'Back To School' Mode With Your Cat - CatTime

When we introduced the Real House Cats of Crabapple Cove, you might recall that Daphne works on the docks. She is a crew chief in charge of vermin control.

The Maine Coon Cat

Crabapple Cove is a hot tourist destination, and every summer the businesses hire extra staff to deal with the crowds. The owners all like to have at least a couple of mousers on staff as a guard against anything stealing the food or scaring the guests. It was a great job for kids on summer break.

Daphne noticed that a lot of the young cats didn’t last long on the job. When she asked around, she found out that they really didn’t understand what the job of mouser entailed. Sensing an opportunity, she decided to open a small mouser school at her house. Her first class had four students. It didn’t take long to find the issues.

Teacher Cat (@realteachercat) | Twitter

Daphne: Hi! I’m Daphne. Welcome to Mousing 101. Please introduce yourselves and tell us why you’re here.

Tyler: My mom said I had to get a summer job.

Mindy: Molly and I want to work on the docks. It’s the best place to meet cute guys when they first get here.

Molly (giggling): Yeah. Less competition than in town.

26 Funny Mafia Cat Pictures. | Cat island, Cat island japan, Cat pics

Daphne: It’s hard work on the docks. Have either of you two moused before?

Mindy and Molly looked at each other.

Mindy: Isn’t that why we’re here?

Molly: My mom doesn’t let mice in our house. She says they’re disgusting.

Daphne looked at the final young cat.

Joseph: I think that all cats should know how to mouse, and I never had a chance to learn.

Why Does My Cat Pounce?

Daphne: Okay, class. First, I’ll demonstrate the proper form. You listen carefully. When you think you hear something, get into your pounce stance and wait patiently. Don’t move until you see the target and think you have a good jump on it. You don’t want to spend a lot of energy running around if you don’t have to.

Daphne crouched into the correct position and sat. 

Daphne: Okay, everyone try the position.

Exercise for your cat - PDSA

The young cats mimicked her crouch. Daphne stood in front and looked at them. She didn’t say anything. A few seconds passed.

Molly: How long do we have to sit like this? It’s boring.

Daphne: You have to wait until the mouse appears.

Molly: You didn’t say anything about waiting for a mouse.

Daphne sighed.

What to Do When Your Cat Brings You a 'Gift'

Daphne: Okay. It looks like everyone gets the concept. I’m going to release four mice somewhere in the room. You need to listen for one of them, then practice your pounce. Do NOT hurt the mouse. We are practicing.

Tyler: I can’t eat my mouse? Why should I bother catching it?

Daphne: These are special mice who have been trained to help teach you. They’re not a snack.

Mindy: Thank goodness. I don’t like the taste of mice.

Lonely Cat On The Dock - Stock Video | Motion Array

Joseph: Are you sure you want to work on the dock? I don’t think they practice catch-and-release with what they find.

Mindy: I only want to work there until I find a boyfriend.

Joseph: Maybe you can get a job sitting there looking pretty. That way they won’t miss you when you quit.

Daphne: All right. I released the mice behind the walls. Everyone find a mouse.

The young cats stalked around the room listening carefully. One by one, they found a mouse to concentrate on. Each cat sat patiently waiting for their mouse to appear. Joseph pounced first and came up with the mouse in his mouth.

Funny Cat and Mouse Videos | Tom and Jerry Real Life Best funny - YouTube

Daphne: Excellent form! You’re a natural. You can let your mouse go.

Joseph released the mouse and thanked Daphne. He went to sit on the sofa and wait for the other cats. Molly was the next one with a mouse. She dropped it, and held it with her paw.

Daphne: Pawsome! You’ll be fine working as a mouser.

Molly joined Joseph on the sofa just as Mindy came up with her mouse. As soon as Mindy tasted the mouse, she dropped it and cried.

Mindy: Eww! That’s disgusting! How can you cats stand to have those in your mouths.  Blech!!

A man was mowing his front yard when his attractive, blonde, female neighbor came out of the house and went str… | Laughing cat, Laughing animals, Laughing pictures

Daphne started laughing. The other cats joined in.

Daphne: Mindy, I’m afraid you’re going to have to find a different line of work. You are definitely not cut out to be a mouser.

Mindy: Fine. This is revolting. I’m don’t want to date any cat that’s impressed by this.

karen (Woodside, NY)'s review of I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems By Cats

Mindy jumped up on the sofa to watch Tyler. He seemed to be having trouble locating his mouse. Suddenly, the mouse ran out past him. Tyler took off after the mouse only to lose him in a corner. Tyler waited a while longer, but the mouse didn’t reappear.

Tyler: This is stupid. I’m not going to wait all day for some stupid mouse to come out. I’ll find a job doing something else.

Mindy: Me too. Let’s get out of here.

Tyler and Mindy left together.

PsBattle: Two cats walking side by side | Cute cats, Pretty cats, Pets

Daphne: Molly and Joseph, you did excellent work today. I’d like to invite you both back next week for a follow-up lesson in stalking.

Both cats nodded their heads. They left together talking excitedly about how much more fun it was to catch a mouse than they thought it was going to be.

Two Cats Cuddle While Walking Together and the Internet Can't Handle It

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

 

 

16

Our Tongues are the Cat’s Meow

How cat tongues work—and can inspire biotechnology

The other day someone said that Snoops’ tongue was weird. We really like this person and know that we’re her first close cat friends. But it was still a little irksome. Everyone knows that cats have pawsome tongues.

Cat Hunting Behavior - When and How Cats Hunt

Our tongues evolved the way they did because we are such amazing hunters. They are covered with little spikes called papillae that are hooked at the end. The papillae are shorter on the the sides of our tongues than in the middle, and the hooks all face into the middle of our mouths.

A Cats Tongue by Wild-Soul on DeviantArt

Not everyone has an equally rough tongue. Mom says that our angel sister Rascal’s tongue was so rough that it would actually rub the skin off if she was too affectionate. On the other hand, Rascal’s sister Critter had a tongue that was almost smooth. Snoops’ tongue is the rougher between the two of us.

As you might have guessed, our tongues are central to our ability to survive. We use them for eating, drinking, and grooming. The details are below:

Protecting Your Nighttime Water Glass from Your Cat

Drinking – Our tongue is vital to our ability to drink. We curl it around to create a kind of funnel, then bend it back like a spoon. You have probably noticed that you only have to put the tip of your tongue in the water, then lift it up and suck in. It’s a fast process that allows for quick hydration. Some humans timed us and found that we can make approximately four licking actions in a second. That skill comes in pretty handy around the drinking hole when there might be predators lurking.

My Cat Is In Pain When He Eats" | Resorptive Lesions May Be Too  BlameCherished Companions Animal Clinic

Eating – Since we are predators, we need a way to get the meat off of the prey and into our tummies. Our tongues are perfect for this task. Those little hooks are meant to get meat off of the bones and broken down into digestible pieces. They work wonders on pate and other forms of canned cat food as well. Just how good are they? Good enough that the same design is used by our wild cousins, the lions and tigers. (Wow. Wonder if Rascal confused Mom with dinner one time?)

cats-eating-ice-cream-cone |

We don’t have as many taste buds as humans do. That might be because we aren’t programmed to eat sweets in the wild. Our natural palate runs strongly to the savory side. However, as Snoops will attest, our tongues can be trained to appreciate sweet flavors. And many cats have discovered that those little hooks work really well on ice cream.

Cat Grooming: Understanding Why Cats Groom Themselves

Grooming – The little hooks are good for more than eating. When we lick our coats, we remove the loose furs. It keeps us looking gorgeous. It also removes the scent of anything we might have eaten. We don’t want to smell like our food because we don’t want other animals thinking that we might make a good snack.

The downside is that some of those furs might stick on the the hooks. If you swallow too many of your loose furs, you will end up with a hairball. And most of us know how unpleasant that is.

188 Cats Who Love Sun More Than Anything | Bored Panda

Climate Control – As you may recall from our post about beating the heat, the tongue also has a role in keeping us cool in the summer. When we groom, we wet our fur. As the saliva dries, it has a cooling effect. Cleanliness is vital to comfort in the summer months.

Why Do Cats Groom Each Other? (the Answer Will Surprise You!) – TheCatSite  Articles

Socialization – Mother cats lick their kittens to clean them and train them in self-care, but they also do it because they love them. Grooming is a sign of affection.

If you really love your human, you may have attempted to groom them. A lot of humans think that we are kissing them, and in a way we are. However, some of them really can use the extra help in the cleanliness department. (Hint: How often does your human bathe compared with how often you bathe?) Either way, we do it because we love them.

So if a human complains that your tongue is too rough, tell them you like it just the way it is. It is cat-astic.

Cute Cats and Kittens Tongue Sticking Out Pictures - Love Meow

Belated Happy Dominion Day to our Canadian friends. And Happy Independence Day to those in the US.

Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July! | East Harding Construction

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.