22

Snoops and Kommando: Famous British Kitties

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Hello. Snoops and Kommando Kitty here. Mom says she has something called a writer’s block. We really don’t know what she’s talking about since we haven’t seen any new blocks.

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At any rate, we looked through our files and thought that maybe you would like to hear about some famous kitties. There were quite a few to choose from, but somehow this list ended up being all British. (Mainly because some of the other kitties came to a sad end or were actually TV or Internet stars.) Or maybe the Brits keep better records of their cats.)

Some of these kitties lived a long time ago. Since we couldn’t get pictures of everyone, we decided that it would only be fair to not show anyone. (Besides, some of the pictures are licensed and we found out we can’t pay with mice.)

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Beerbohm – Beerbohm was the resident cat at the Globe Theatre in London (now the Gielgud Theatre). He loved to walk into dressing rooms and attack whatever props he could find. He also made himself at home on the stage, walking through many productions. As a sign of his popularity, he is the only cat to be given an obituary on the front page of the industry magazine The Stage.

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Crimean Tom – During the Crimean War, Sevastopol was under siege for a year. When the British and French troops finally liberated the city, the residents were starving. Tom had survived the war, looking well-fed and healthy. The soldiers followed Tom one day to a store room full of food. Tom had saved the food by eating the mice and rats that tried to eat it. The store of food kept the soldiers from starving. Tom returned to Britain with one of the soldiers.

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Faith – Faith had been adopted by the rector of St. Augustine church. During the London Blitz, she took her kitten, Panda, to the church basement. Every time Panda would go upstairs, Faith would bring him back to the basement. St. Augustine was near St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was destroyed (except the tower) by the Germans. The only creatures that survived the bombing were Faith and Panda. She was awarded a medal for courage by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Simon – Simon was a British kitty who lived on the HMs Amethyst during the Chinese Civil War. In 1949, the ship ran aground and was stuck for three months. Simon has been wounded by a shell blast, but continued to protect the human food by killing rats trying to eat it. He also kept morale up. He was awarded the PDSA Dickin medal for bravery. He is the only cat to have received this medal.

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Unsinkable Sam – When the German Battleship, Bismarck, was sunk by the British Navy, only 100+ men and one cat survived. The British HMS Cossack rescued the cat and named him Oscar. Unfortunately, the Cossack was torpedoed near Gibraltar. Oscar survived again and was renamed Unsinkable Sam. He was rescued by the HMS Ark Royal, which was torpedoed near Malta. After surviving three shipwrecks in six months, he was taken to Britain to live out his life on dry land in a seaman’s home.

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Wilberforce – Wilberforce was the Chief Mouser at No. 10 Downing St., the home of the British Prime Minister. No. 10 Downing St., is almost 300 years old, and has a number of resident rats and mice. The Chief Mouser is responsible for keeping the vermin under control. Wilberforce was considered to be a top-notch mouser. He has had the longest tenure to this point, serving every PM from Edward Heath to Margaret Thatcher.

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Wyatt’s Caterer – Sir Henry Wyatt was imprisoned by King Richard III. He made friends with a cat who brought him food (mainly birds, not rodents). Eventually Sir Henry was released by King Henry VII (who defeated Richard III in battle and took the throne). A memorial to Sir Henry credits the Caterer with his survival during his imprisonment.

These cats are pretty impressive. There are many other cats who have saved humans from fires, medical emergencies, and gas leaks in their homes. Cat are also emotional and therapy support animals. Our purrs are therapeutic. You can see why cats rule. (And we’re beautiful too.)

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20

Cat Forum: What’s Your Sign?

Snoops and Kommando here. Welcome to another edition of Cat Forum.

Kommando: Did you know that humans have something called a horrorscope?

Snoops: What’s that?

Kommando: I’m not sure. I think it tells them when something horrible is going to happen to them.

Snoops: I think you mean a horoscope. That tells them what’s going to happen based on when they were born. It also tells them what type of personality people have. It’s based on where all the stuff in the sky is when they’re born.

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Kommando: Ooh. Cats need something like that. It could tell us whether we’re going to get good food or something yucky tomorrow.

Snoops: That’s not the kind of thing they use it for. They use to see if they’re going to fall in love or get a better job. Stuff like that.

Kommando: Oh. That’s too bad. Cats don’t need that.

Snoops: Cats do have certain traits based on when they were born.

Kommando: We don’t know when we were born, so it won’t work for us.

Snoops: Maybe we can look at the personalities and tell from that. Let’s see what it says.

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Aries (March 21 – April 19)

These kitties have a lot of energy. They are the ones who race around all the time and want to play with anything they find. They are the most prone to bringing their human a paw-caught gift.

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Taurus (April 20-May 20)

These cats love to be indulged. They can’t get too much attention. They generally will eat whatever is put before them (and maybe even something that’s in someone else’s bowl). Many of them beg human food as well.

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Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Gemini is the sign for twins, and Gemini kitties have twice the personality in one cat. They have no problem communicating what they want and may have a whole vocabulary for getting it. These are the kitties who race around, get into things, then look innocent about the whole thing.

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Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Cancer kitties are usually quiet and cuddly. And they want a quiet, cuddly environment. They are family-oriented and like to give affection as well as get it. Sometimes they look for their own quiet space to get away from things.

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Leo (July 23 – August 22)

These cats demand the most attention of any cat you will meet. They want to be the center of attention and get the most affection. They love playing with toys. They want lots of cuddles and love, and if they don’t get enough, they’ll come looking for it.

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Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Virgos are the ones who give cats their finnicky reputation. They want what they want and would prefer to have it now. They also want an extra clean bowl and litter box. Virgo cats are clean themselves, so don’t mess up the fur.

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Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Libra cats know they are the prettiest kitties around. They like to be noticed by humans and other cats. They are social, and want to be in the middle of everything. They pair well with Gemini kitties.

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Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Scorpio cats are intense and mysterious. They do not like their humans petting another cat. They are moody, changing from loving to aloof like a switch has been flipped. They like to hide and also to hide things. (Most likely cat to leave a dead mouse in a slipper.)

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Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

These cats love a good adventure, and might even disappear for a day or two trying to find it. They are always on the lookout for something exciting to do or see. It’s best to keep breakable things and nervous humans out of their way.

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Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Capricorn cats prefer a one-on-one relationship with their human. They are used to getting what they want and like it that way. A favorite trick is to “persuade” their human that everyone will get a lot more sleep if kitty gets to sleep in the bedroom.

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Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Aquarius kitties are the ones with the unique tastes. That’s because they hate being bored. They want lots of entertainment all the time. Humans like them because they are the most likely to perform on command.

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Pieces (February 19 – March 20)

These cats are calm and affectionate. When they sleep, they look like they’re dreaming about catching mice and moths. These kitties know when their human isn’t feeling well and will give extra cuddles to make up for it.

Kommando: That was interesting, but I can’t figure out which one I am.

Snoops: That’s because you’re in a category of your own.

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Information is courtesy of Tarot.com: https://www.tarot.com/astrology/astrology-cats-zodiac

Pictures courtesy of Google Images

17

Cat Forum: Fur, Beautiful Fur

 

Darlin’ give me a body with fur, long beautiful fur

Shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen

Fur, fur. Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur, fur

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

Flow it, show it, long as I can grow it, my fur.

With apologies to “Hair”. You can hear the original Broadway version here.

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Kommando: Why does it say “Apologies to Hair?” It’s about fur.

Snoops: It was originally about human hair.

Kommando: Why would anyone write a song about that? It’s disgusting.

Snoops: They wrote a whole play about it according to Mom.

Kommando: Humans are so weird. It’s not like it even covers their whole bodies. You have to look at all that disgusting skin.

Snoops: Seriously. Those pores and bumps. And those marks when they fall down.

Kommando: Yeah. And when they bleed. Ugh. Revolting.

Snoops: That’s why we’re talking about fur today.

Kommando: Pawsome!

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First, we are identified by the type of coat we have. There are hairless, short-haired, and long-haired.

Hairless – Hairless cats are not hairless (but they are cats). They are covered with very fine hair that feels like suede. Hairless cats are actually quite a bit of work. They have to be bathed regularly to remove some of the oil from their skin (the rest of us have fur to do it). Also, these cats shouldn’t be outside in cold weather (no coat). And they sunburn (Don’t put aloe on it; it’s poison to cats). Examples include the Sphynx and Peterbald.

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Short-haired – These cats are low-maintenance. The fur is no more than 1.5 inches long and requires very little brushing. Examples are the British Shorthair, the Burmese, the Manx, the Bengal, and the Savannah.

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Long-haired – These cats are furballs with feet. Their fur is longer than 1.5 inches, but it can grow up to 5 inches long. They require a lot of brushing, and they shed year-round. They are also prone to coughing up hairballs. Examples are the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll, and the Persian.

Now we move on to colors and patterns. As many varieties of patterns there are, cats are limited to 8 colors: white, black, red/ginger, bluish/gray, cream, brown, cinnamon, fawn. If cats were good at math, we’d tell you how many combinations that is; we’re not, so it’s lots.

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Solid/Self Color – These cats are easy to spot, if you can find one. If there are furs of other color (any furs), they are not a solid.

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Bi-Color – a base of white with patches of color. There are many variations: random, random with colored tail, colored head and back, and between the ears and a colored tail.

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Tabby – the most common patter in domestic cats; they are striped or marbled. The markings trace back to the ancestral wild cats. There are four sub-groups:

Striped or Mackerel – vertical stripes running from spine to belly.

Classic or Blotched – no distinct stripes, but a marbled effect.

Spotted – Spots instead of stripes.

Ticked – Each hair is more than one color, often with striped legs and tail.

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Tortoiseshell – they come in a variety of shades. The most common is gingery-red and black; the lightest is blue-grey and cream (diluted). Sometimes the colors are mixed/brindled and sometimes they are in patches.

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Torbie – a mixture of tabby and tortie. The markings are a mix a blend of tabby and tortoiseshell.

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Tri-Color/Calico – a mixture of gingery red, black, and white in any variation. They dilute down to grey, cream and white.

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Color Point – one color, but darker on the face, paws, and tail; the parts that are the coolest.

Kommando: Gee. I had no idea that fur was so complicated. Imagine if we each got to pick out our own coat. The line would go on forever while cats looked at samples.

Snoops: That is a very strange idea. Even from you. But there’s more. Some cats only have a top coat. That’s the longer guard hair. Others have that and an undercoat. The undercoat is very fine and cottony; excellent insulation. Those are the cats that don’t mind being outside in the winter.

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Kommando: We have double coats, and we don’t like cold weather.

Snoops: Good point. I guess fur is only part of it.

Kommando: These cats are all beautiful. I guess that’s the advantage of being a cat.

Snoops: Very true. We’re all gorgeous.

Kommando: Of course, the best looking are the bi-color with random black spots.

Snoops: Not even close. It’s the classic calico.

Kommando: Bi-color!

Snoops: Tri-color!

Kommando & Snoops: Mom! We need you!

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Pictures courtesy of Google Images.