11

Live Big: Celebrate National American Bison Day

Plains Bison (Bison bison bison) | U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Greetings. Exciting news. Today is National American Bison Day! You know, those huge hairy beasts roaming the North American plains. The ones everyone used to call buffaloes. They’re the largest mammal in North America, and they have their own day to celebrate their awesomeness.

Bison Bellows: A New Initiative to Celebrate Bison (U.S. National Park  Service)

We’re lucky we still have this beauties with us. Before the European settlers arrived, there were approximately 30-60 million bison roaming around. (We know that’s a wide range, but bison weren’t very good recordkeepers.) Native Americans used bison for food, clothing, shelter, and other things, but the settlers hunted them almost to extinction. (They were also not very good with rifles.) We only have about 10,000 left, living in 17 herds. They live in the western U.S. and Canada.

Bison Interests - Investment Firm, Oil and Gas Investments

Every year since 2012, the US Senate has passed a resolution declaring the first Saturday in November as National Bison Day. (No, we have no idea why they have to do it every year. It doesn’t really seem controversial.) Even better, on May 9, 2012 President Obama made the American Bison the National Mammal of the U.S. with the National Bison Legacy Act.

First baby bison of the year born at Fermilab

Bison Fun Facts

  • They can weigh up to 1,000 pounds (that’s like 100 cats)
  • They originated in Southeast Asia about 2.5-2.6 million years ago. Yellowstone Park is the only place in the U.S. where they have lived continuously since prehistoric times.
  • They are a lot faster than they look. They can run up to 35 miles per hour.
  • They have poor eyesight, but their hearing and sense of smell help compensate.
  • They live up to 20 years.
  • The babies are called red dogs.

9 Laughing Animals | Laughing animals, Baby animals, Cute animals

Bison Riddles

What did the mother say when her son went to college?  Bison.

How can you tell there’s a bison under your sleeping bag? The ceiling of your tent is very close.

How can you tell a bison from a field mouse? Try to pick it up. If you can’t, it’s either a bison or a very large mouse.

What do you get when you cross peanut butter with a bison? Either peanut butter that roams the range or a bison that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

What do you call a bison at the North Pole? Lost.

What kind of car does a bison drive? A Furrari.

What animal is always the designated driver? Water buffalo.

What time is it when a bison sits on your bed? Time to get a new bed.

65 Different Species of Animals Laugh, Says a New Study

Bison Jokes

The devout cowboy lost his favorite Bible while he was mending fences out on the range. Three weeks later, a bison walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The cowboy couldn’t believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the bison’s mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, “It’s a miracle!” “Not really,” said the bison. “Your name is written inside the cover.”

A man and his pet bison walk into a bar. It’s about 5 pm, but they settle in for a night of drinking. They spend the night drinking, one drink after another. Finally, it’s last call. The man says, ” One more for me, and one more for my bison.” The bartender sets them up, and they down the drinks. The bison falls over, dead. The mans throws some money on the bar, puts on his coat, and goes to leave. The bartender yells after him, “You can’t leave that lyin’ there.:The man responds, “It’s not a lion; it’s a bison.”

Bovini/Bisonte Americano(Bison Bison): | American bison, Animals, Herding

A bison sits down next to a man in a movie theater. The man asks, “Are you a bison?” “Yes, I am.” The man is surprised. “Why are you at the movies.” The bison replies, “I liked the book.”

A policeman stops a man who has a baby bison in the front seat of his car. “Why do you have a baby bison? You should take him to the zoo.” The man nods and drives off. The next week, the officer sees them again. They are both wearing hats and sunglasses. He pulls the car over. “I thought I told you to take the bison to the zoo.” The man replies, “I did, officer. We had such a good time, we’re going to the beach this week.”

Numbat - ZooBorns

Hope you found this entertaining. In case you’re interested, November 5th is also National Redhead Day, World Tsunami Awareness Day, Chinese Food Takeout Day, and World Numbat Day. Numbats are banded anteaters (also known as walpurti), who live in western Austalia. If you live in the UK, it is primarily known as Guy Fawkes Day/Gunpowder Day/Bonfire night. They are celebrating either an attempt to blow up Parliament or the successful repression of that attempt.

Regardless, we think it’s Bison who rule the day.

National Bison Month - American Humane - American Humane

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

Jokes courtesy of http://www.jokes4us.com/animaljokes/buffalojokes.

14

Legendary Cats: Cats in Myth

Are black cats really in danger over Halloween?

Greetings. We’ve been trying to think up a good Halloween post. We don’t like costumes. We don’t like candy. And we’re not particularly fond of pumpkin. We don’t like being scared, but we were pleased to find a bunch of cats that have scared humans over the years. We’re pretty sure none of these cats are real, but they sure sound cool.

Bastet - How the Cat Became a Goddess

Bastet – Actually, Bastet isn’t scary at all. She may be the best known of all the mythical cats. Bastet is the ancient Egyption goddess of the home, women, childbirth, fertility, and cats. She protected homes from evil spirits and diseases affecting women and children.

I'm silently judging you. - Lolcats - lol | cat memes | funny cats | funny  cat pictures with words on them | funny pictures | lol cat memes | lol cats

Mafdet – She is another Egyptian deity. Mafdet was the goddess of judgment, justice, and execution. She was also the protector of Ra, the sun god. She protected against the bites of scorpions and snakes.  We think that all cats have a little Mafdet in us.

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

Sekhmet – We had no idea there were so many Egyptian cat goddesses! She was the goddess of war and destruction, born from the fire of the sun god Ra’s eyes. Some people think that she was an alternate form of Bastet, but others thought she was Bastet’s sister.

Animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo | Canadian Lynx Kitten | Small wild cats, Lynx  kitten, Cute wild animals

Lyncus – In Greek mythology, Scythian King Lyncus refused to use agriculture and was turned into a lynx by Demeter as punishment. We don’t really understand this story. Why wouldn’t every human want to be a lynx if they could?

14 Gorgeous Black Cat Breeds With Pictures - Excited Cats

Matagot – The legend of the matagot comes from southern France. It is an evil spirit that takes the shape of an animal, usually a black cat. People have also claimed they look like rats, foxes, dogs, and cows. Apparently the trick is to feed your matagot well. Well-fed matagots were known to bring wealth to a household.

Angry cat' amasses huge social media following due to his seemingly  permanent grumpy expression | Daily Mail Online

Cath Palug – There are stories about cath palug in both France and Wales. It was supposed to be a huge cat that lived on the Isle of Anglesey. He got along well, eating the people who tried to kill him until King Arthur came along and finished him off. Of course, that’s if you believe in King Arthur.

Meet the "King of Cats" From Celtic Folklore - Catster

Cat-sith – These creatures are the size of medium dogs with black fur adorned with a white spot on their chests. When they are around humans, they walk on four paws and look like big house cats. When there aren’t any humans around, they use two legs. Apparently, some of them even wear clothes in private (which we don’t understand at all.) Usually, they pass for regular cats. Scottish Highlanders believed they could steal a person’s soul.

Hombre - gato | La Loca de los Gatos

Hombre Gato – This creature from South America (mainly Argentina) is also known as Catman. He only comes out at night to attack both humans and animals. It has both feline and human features.

PsBattle: Cat with spiky armor. (X-post /r/cats) : r/photoshopbattles

 Cactus Cat – Cactus Cat lives in the American Southwest, generally in the desert. He is about the size of a bobcat, but with spiky fur, a branched tail, and sharp bones coming out of his front legs. Humans claim to have seen him in California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado.

8 Fascinating Facts About the Sand Cat

Wampus Cat – Wampus Cat has a bit of a dual personality. She comes from Cherokee mythology. The cat is a female human who was cursed for watching a sacred ceremony from under the skin of a wild cat. Apparently women were not supposed to view the ceremony. Once again, we’re not sure why it would be a curse to be turned into a cat. Sometimes people think Wampus Cat is evil and sometimes she is merely mischevious. She was blamed for several livestock killing sprees across the southeast U.S. in the 20th century.

PsBattle: Cat standing on its hind legs while other cats observe :  r/photoshopbattles

Bakeneko – Bakeneko is a huge cat in Japanese legend. When cats get old enough, they start developing supernatural powers and transform into yokai (a class of supernatural entities). They start out looking like regular cats, but eventually start walking on their hind legs. They keep growing and gaining more supernatural power. Some of them reach the size of adult humans.

Black Cat Red Eyes by welshdragon on DeviantArt | Cat with blue eyes, Black  cat aesthetic, Red cats eye

Cha Kla – Cha Kla is a legendary cat from Thailand. It is completely black with blood-red eyes. It is terrified of humans and only comes out at night. If a human touches it, they will die.

Tigers: possibly the planet's most iconic big cat | WWF

Dawon/Dgon – Dawon is a cat from Hindu mythology. She is a tigress who was given to the goddess Durga for combat. Durga would ride Dawon into battle where Dawon would assist using her teeth and claws.

These guys are from all over the globe. We’re sure there are many more cool cats out there. Do you know of any we missed?

Happy Halloween - Cats & Animals Background Wallpapers on Desktop Nexus  (Image 2038535)

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

17

Cat Forum: Are You the Hunter or the Hunted?

Hi Everyone. It’s Kommando Kitty leading off today. I am not a happy cat. My mom and human brother are calling me a scaredy cat. They keep trying to introduce our new invader brother, and I don’t want to meet him. Snoops pretty much ignores him, but I run when he comes near. Mom says he’s going to think I’m prey. I don’t understand why they can’t just leave him upstairs.

Back when I moved in, things were different. I was a tiny kitten, and Snoops had just been adopted after having kittens. She adopted me, but I made sure that I was in charge. Over the years, she’s gotten more assertive, so we’ve been more-or-less equals for a while. Now there’s a new guy. He doesn’t seem mean or aggressive. Nobody’s even heard him hiss or growl. He has a LOT of energy. And I just want to hang out.

This is Snoops. The humans are taking things slowly here. It should be okay soon. It’s just weird, because Kommando has really mellowed out over the years. She used to be a little bully. Now I have to protect her. It’s like she got a personality transplant.

Enneagram Memes - Funny Images For Enneagram Types 1 - 9

We’ve been looking at the different types of personalities that cats have. It’s pretty interesting. Apparently, someone has been doing a lot of work and identified the five basic personality traits of kitties. They are: skittishness, outgoingness, dominance, impulsiveness, and agreeableness. All of us have some degree of each trait to make up our unique selves.

How Can You Tell If Your Cat is Stressed? - Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet.com

Skittishness (or Neuroticism) – This measures where you fall on the calm to stressed out scale. The more neurotic you are, the more easily you get stressed out. You are more likely to be anxious or depressed. You will run from the unknown or strange things. It’s not a bad thing to be skittish. Just make sure you have a place to hide and feel safe. You may be braver when you are more comfortable with the situation.

Caturday Pootie Diary: I've Seen Enough - Dance Party Time

Outgoingness (or Extroversion) –  Let’s face it. Some cats are party animals and some are not. (We are not, but we think that Sgt Stripes probably is.) This measurement looks at how impulsive you are versus being cautious. We are all curious, but some of us take it to the extreme. Some cats go through life looking for adventures, while others are happy living with set limits. Outgoing cats are sometimes called “nosy.” They are easily bored and need more mental stimulation than their more introverted friends. They may get destructive when they get bored. If you are an extroverted cat, make sure you have plenty of toys. Playing with your human will help you avoid boredom.

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

Dominance – Dominant cats are the ones who always want to be first and try to run everything. You know the type. They may try to control everything in the house (food, toys, litter box). Dominant cats sometimes try to dominate the humans as well as other cats. They will chase the others, pick fights, try to make others move, steal food/toys, and generally be obnoxious. At the other end of the scale are the meek cats who are content to be at whatever level they find. One way to deal with a dominant cat is to make sure that there are enough water bowls, food dishes, litter boxes, etc. for everyone. Even the head cat can’t be everywhere at once.

Off Topic - Silly cat - Forum - Path of Exile

Impulsivity – Some cats seem to be unpredictable. One day, they will act one way and the next day completely different. One day they like something, the next day they don’t. These cats are usually high energy and may be a little anxious. Cats may be more impulsive when they are uncertain of their surroundings. Giving this type of cat some structure may help, like set feedings and playtime. Humans need to be extra calm around impulsive kitties to help lower their anxiety levels.

Top 10 Friendliest Cats - AZ Animals

Agreeableness –  This measures where you fall on the Nice to Unfriendly scale. Agreeable cats are nice – they get along with everyone, and are usually happy to give a cheerful hello, rub, or head bonk. Well-socialized, healthy kitties are usually nice kitties. A cat who is disagreeable or aggressive usually has been poorly socialized, poorly treated, or in pain. On the other hand, we all have bad days. (And sometimes humans are just annoying.)

Does Your Cat Still Need an Annual Exam? - Feline Medical Clinic

Obviously, we all have our own personalities. And there’s no such thing as a bad kitty. If you are interested in taking a Cat Personality Test, you can find the one from IDR Labs here.  It’s free and fun.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

15

Thunder Katt: The Tale of the Tail

Hello, everyone! It’s Thunder here, and you may not know this about me, but my tail is extraordinarily long! As a matter of fact, my tail has been referred to as a magnificent tail! (All of me is pretty great, but my tail is extra fabulous!) So, I’m honor of my beautiful tail, I am here to share cat tail facts! 

A cat’s tail contains almost 10% of their bones

The tail of a cat on average has 19-23 vertebrae, which are held together with ligaments, tendons and muscles. The average length of a tail runs between 9 and 12 inches. Female tails tend to be shorter than male tails. 

 A cat’s tail helps them with balance

Have you ever noticed that when a cat is walking, or perched on something high or narrow, our tails are up and swaying? That’s not just us showing off how beautiful they look! Cat tails act as a counterbalance to protect from falling off of high areas, or stumbling in narrow spaces. Our tails also help keep us on balance when we run, or jump on prey.

Tail injuries can cause permanent damage

Spinal columns don’t extend all the way into the tail, but they contain the nerves that control and provide sensation to the tail, hind legs, bladder, and intestines. The nerves extend outward to protect the spinal bones. When a cat’s tail is yanked on, it can overstretch or tear these nerves and cause temporary and permanent inability to walk, inability to hold a tail upright, chronic pain, or incontinence. 

Cats can compensate if they lose their tails

While the loss of a tail certainly is debilitating and will negatively affect the cat, domestic cats can learn to compensate. Their balance will be controlled by their spinal column, and emotional signals (as well as health clues) will be portrayed through body language. 

The tailless gene is dominant

While the tailless gene (found most commonly in Manx cats) is dominant, it is very rare that two dominant-gene tailless cats are bred together. Typically, this gene is paired with a tailed breed. The reason for this primarily lies in the fact that when the dominant trait is combined, major health issues (known as Manx Syndrome) occur. (This can happen in otherwise normal bred Manx’s as well, but it is much more rare). Symptoms of this disease include spine bifida, fused vertebrae, bladder and bowel incontinence, and spontaneous miscarriage. 

Cats communicate with their tail

Because humans have yet to understand the dialect of a meow, cats have learned to primarily communicate with their body language; one of their biggest aids with this method is their tail! Happiness is shown with a tail held high, and a quivering tip. Mild irritation is shown with a low tail that has a twitch at the end, and an angry cat will be thrashing their tails back and forth rapidly. Cats who are on the hunt will keep their tail low and still. 

A tail in the air can be an invitation

Have you ever noticed when a cat gets scratched by the base of their tail, happiness ensues and the tail jots upwards? That’s a good thing! Cats raise their tail to invite you to pet them, and to show you that they’re content. However, a cat may raise its tail around other cats as an invitation to come and investigate. Tails can make or break a relationship amongst cats! 

Only domestic cats can walk with their tails vertical

The ability to walk with our tails held high is a trait unique to domestic felines. All big and wild cats walk with their tails horizontal, low to the ground, or tucked between their legs. 

Tail Ailments

If a cat is feeling unwell or has medical issues arising, their tails will be the first sign something is awry. In a sick cat, the tail will be drooping and not twitching. There are also ailments that directly affect the tail, such as hormonal issues causing inflammation or dermatitis caused by flea bites. This particular dermatitis also causes tail joint inflammation. 

Tails are used as emotional signals

In addition to communication and health aids, cat tails can also show their emotions. Contentment is shown with an upright tail. Confusion is a tail that is at a 45 degree angle. Excitement is displayed with a tail that is angled back with motion. Happiness is shown with a tail that is upright and swaying. Friendliness is shown with an upright, bent-tip tail. A cat who is uneasy will have their tail straight, nearly level with their spine. Aggression in cats is shown by a tail hanging down and a dip near the base of the tail. Angry cats rapidly swish their tails back and forth. Cats who are frightened puff their tails out. A cat who is about to attack will hold their tail at a 90 degree angle. A (domestic) cat who holds their tail between their legs is usually hurt. And a cat who is interested and alert will have their tails sitting upright, with a moving tip. 

The tail tells all! In addition to being beautiful, the tails us all sorts of things about kitties, including how a hunt is going, emotions, and communications. While tails are beautiful, they are very delicate, and are a major part of a cat’s body and function. So while admiring our lovely tails, be sure to take care of them. The tail reigns supreme! 

Purrs and furs, 

Thunder K. Katt 

33

Why Everyone Should Adopt a Black Cat

Greetings everyone! It’s Onyx here, this time to specifically talk about black cats and adoption. I was adopted by my human at 6 months old, and she was very saddened to hear that, not only was I severely neglected and abused before being rescued by the shelter, but once I was cleared for adoption and put on display, I sat there for six weeks without a single inquiry. In fact, she was the first (and only) person to show any interest in me- it was so bad, the shelter kept delaying getting me spayed, because other cats were coming in and leaving within a day, and to leave the specific shelter I was at, you had to be spayed or neutered. So I thought I would talk about the struggles of being a black cat waiting for adoption, and what benefits will come if you do choose to adopt black felines. 

Bad Shelter Statistics

Black cats have it rough when it comes to shelter statistics. Not only are black cats given up the most of any color feline, but we are also the hardest to place in homes. Black cats have the lowest adoption rate of any color cat out there. In addition, we make up the highest percentage of kitties in shelters. Unfortunately, in areas that still allow euthanizing for animal control, that also means that black cats are most likely to be put down. The shelter life of a black cat is a sad life. 

Fun, Playful Kitties

Black cats have a tendency to be more energetic and playful. We love playing hide and seek (and are quite good at it!) as much as we love pouncing and chasing. This trait can make black cats a good fit for families with young children who enjoy playing and chasing. 

We Love Everyone

Black cats are also found to be super sweet and loving. We love curling up on your lap or pillow and soaking in companionship. We also love being held or snuggling up for a nap, and most of us show no hesitation in requesting our cuddles. I will reach out and tap my human with my paw to show I need love (that’s how I got her to notice me in the shelter)! I also love giving head bonks and nose rubs, and just showing my affection often. 

Good Luck Charms

Although there are many (horribly untrue) myths that black cats cause bad luck, many cultures are now beginning to flip their ideas to show that black cats actually bring good luck! These fortunate countries include England, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Egypt, and Latvia. There are some Asian cultures, China especially, that believe black cats bring prosperity. Unfortunately, America has yet to jump on the good luck bandwagon, but hopefully soon! 

Black Cats Matter

As mentioned above, due to volume, black cats tend to have a higher euthanization rate to begin with. But did you know that some people are so cruel, they’ll actually adopt black cats with the intention of harming or killing them? Some people also adopt black cats as “Halloween decorations” and abandon them after the holiday. For that reason, many shelters won’t even adopt out black cats during the month of October. Unfortunately, evil persists year round, so black cats are still at risk of being placed into a harmful home. By adopting a black cat, you’re saving them from a life of misery and guaranteeing a safe, loving home. 

Intelligence at its Finest

Obviously all cats are smart- we did domesticate humans, after all, and continue to train them. But did you know black cats are often known for their intelligence and wisdom? Many black cats are distantly related to the panther, one of the smartest animals out there. In the wild, we use our intelligence to simultaneously camouflage and hunt prey. At home, we use it to hunt small prey and perfect our humans. Pretty cool, huh?

Black is Beautiful

All cats are beautiful, and black cats are no exception! Not only do we match all outfits and decor, but our black first look regal. The color of our eyes are piercing against the black of our coat, and we can get highlights (typically auburn or brown) from the sun. Black cats make the purrfect accessory or centerpiece to your home! 

Long Live the Black Cat

Looking for a long term relationship? Adopt a black cat! Black cats tend to live longer and are thought to have a stronger immune system than other felines. Scientists believe this is due to our lineage being traceable to one breed, meaning genetic coding hasn’t been compromised and weakened. Black cats are less likely to develop feline leukemia, and tend to bounce back quicker from minor illnesses and injuries. If we’re kept inside and taken well care of, it’s not uncommon for black cats to live between 18-22 years. That’s definitely a worthy relationship. 

The adoption of any cat is a wonderful journey, for both human and kitty. But the next time you’re seeking a new family member, please consider a black cat. We’re wonderful, loving creatures, and we’d love to get to know you and brighten your home. And spread the word to everyone you know- we can save the kitties one adoption at a time! 

With head bonks and nose rubs,

Onyx Katt

Ed. Note: We want to offer our condolences to Ms. Ellen and everyone at 15andMeowing. Beloved Sammy went over the Rainbow Bridge a few days ago. He will be missed.

21

Snoops and Kommando Chat about Cats

Online School for Cats Soon to be a Reality - Learning Liftoff

Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty. Mom hasn’t been feeling well, so she said we could take over the blog this week. Unfortunately, it’s been really boring around here lately so we don’t have anything to talk about either. So we went to Mr. Google and asked about fun cat facts.

We found some interesting stuff. The information below is from https://www.quizbeez.com/blog/52-cats-fun-facts and https://laffgaff.com/cat-trivia-questions-answers/.

What Is The Name For A Group Of Cats? - Tuxedo Cat

Approximately 25% of American households “own” a cat.

A group of cats is called a clowder.

A group of kittens is called a kindle.

Can You Send A Cat In The Mail? – Catstourguide

If a human killed a cat in ancient Egypt, they could be put to death.

Félicette was the first cat launched into space (as part of the French space program in 1963). She returned safely to earth.

In the 1870’s a town in Belgium had cats deliver the mail. They put the mail in waterproof pouches around the cat’s neck and sent the cats out. It was not successful.

Kittens Cats Group Of - Free photo on Pixabay

A cat’s nose print is a unique identifier.

The house cat shares 96% of her DNA with the tiger.

Cats have 230 bones in their bodies. (Humans have 206.)

All kittens are born with blue eyes.

Kittens from the same litter can have different fathers.

Someone slept too long and wrinkled her whiskers. - ) | Cat memes, Funny  animal pictures, Dog memes

Trimming a cat’s whiskers will cause it to become disoriented. They help the cat determine whether a space is big enough to fit in and how far to jump to reach a certain spot.

Cats can either purr or roar. They cannot do both. Only the jaguar, leopard (except snow leopard), lion, and tiger can roar.

The average house cat can run up to 30 miles per hour (48 kph). Human athletes top out at about 27 mph.

How to Tell if a Cat is Smart | PetMD

Cats teeth can stab, anchor, and cut. But they cannot chew.

Cats cannot detect as many colors as humans. But they are far superior at detecting motion. Their eyes can also fully dilate which allows them to see in extremely low light.

Scientists have been unable to study cats’ intelligence to any great degree because cats are not interested in cooperating with the research.

A cat’s sense of smell is far superior to a human’s although not as good as a dog’s.

Create meme "sleepy cat, cat , cat " - Pictures - Meme-arsenal.com

Cats like to attack human feet because they are roughly the size of the prey cats normally hunt. (Fuzzy slippers or socks make the resemblance more striking.)

Most cats don’t like cold food. They prefer something close to the temperature of their tongue.

Cats sleep an average of 15 hours per day, although kittens and seniors generally sleep more. The actual schedule will probably vary by the household routine of a house cat.

Cats prefer to drink running water. Possibly because it tastes fresher.

Water Cats: Some Cats Love to Swim and Play in Water - Tufts Catnip

The Maine Coon is the largest domestic cat. They are not a hybrid with a wild cat.

Black panthers are not a specific feature. They are just large cats with extra melanin.

Turkish Van cats love water.

The Sphinx cat is the only breed native to Canada. It was formerly known as the Canadian hairless.

Bengal cats have fur that sparkles under the light.

Cat Books: 5 Books About All Things Feline

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

25

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

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.

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.

 

21

Cat Forum: The Original Cool Cats

Back To School Quiz: Weekly Challenge

Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty and welcome to Cat Forum. It appears that the humans have a holiday coming up called Indigenous People Day. As you know, we would never care about a holiday with “People” in its name, so we won’t be celebrating. However, it did make us wonder when cats first graced North America with their presence. So we sent the Cheeseland interns on a hunt. And wouldn’t you know it, some of the best information came from Purr and Roar, one of our favorite blogs about all types of cats.

Saber-tooth Kittens Were Big-boned | HowStuffWorks

First is the fearsome saber-tooth tiger (Smilodon). If you’d been around 10,000 years ago, you might have seen one of these guys roaming around. We would have been looking from a distance, because they were seriously scary. It appears that they lived in packs, but no one was brave enough to tell them that cats don’t do that. They could roar too. Pretty cool.

Homotherium - Wikipedia

We also have the scimitar cat (Homotherium). They were found pretty much everywhere, in all climates. It appears that they were fast runners, and big. Skeletons suggest they weighed up to 800 pounds. Because of their size and speed, they could eat whatever they wanted (even mammoths). They were around long enough that they might even have hunted humans. Very cool.

American lion - the largest lion in history | DinoAnimals.com

Next is the true king of cats, the American lion. They may have been the largest cat of all time, weighing over 1,000 pounds. The humans aren’t sure if they were related to modern lions; they might be related to jaguars. It doesn’t really matter. Obviously, these cats ruled.

Lynx Cubs … | Lynx kitten, Animals, Cats

So who’s left? Unfortunately, none of the big guys are still around. However, North America still has six wild cats roaming around. They are bobcats, lynx, ocelots, cougars, jaguars, and jaguarundis. They are relatives to the earlier cats, and are definitely not domesticated. We recommend you stay in your own social circle.

We see the gental cat hunting its pray AND THEN SNEAK ATTACK - Annoying Squirrel - quickmeme

Where are we in this timeline? Actually, we are all descended from Middle Eastern wildcats (Felis sylvestris). Over 10,000 years ago, cats started saving grain from rodents and humans (finally) saw what awesome creatures we are. The rest is history.

Working from Home Memes That Are Hilariously Accurate | Reader's Digest

Of course, our ancestors didn’t swim over here. The settlers brought cats to protect their supplies from rodents on their ships from Europe. Once cats were here, we were basically just work animals. Can you believe it? Humans are so slow sometimes.

Why Cats Rule the Internet

Finally humans realized how truly great we are. There are over 85 million of us in the United States. (Don’t forget ferals and shelter cats.) We rule the Internet and some of us even write blogs.

Rex The Cat on Twitter | Cats, Funny cats, Funny cat memes

We come in all sorts of colors and patterns. Some of us talk a lot and some of us are strong, silent types. Some are social, and some prefer their own company. But we can all take pride in our powerful ancestors. Remember, we train humans; they don’t train us.

bucket list...to adopt a large number of cats. haha. | Crazy cats, Christmas cats, Cats and kittens

All pictures courtesy of Google Images.