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.

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16

Cat Forum: Name That Cat

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Greetings from Snoops and Kommando Kitty. This week we have a game for you. We’re going to give a list of characteristics and you need to identify the kind of cat being described.

We know this isn’t much of challenge for you kitties, so we recommend you team up with a human. You can help them with the hard ones.

There is a list of possibilities at the top and answers at the bottom. The pictures do not correspond to the description above or below. There are more possibilities than there are clues.

Some are breeds and some are coat patterns. Good luck!

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Possible answers: American Shorthair, Balinese, Calico, Havana Brown, Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest, Siamese, Siberian, Snowshoe, Tabby, Tonkinese, Tortie, Turkish Angora

Hint: Snoops is a representative of one of these cats

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Cat #1

  • Males are generally considered good luck.
  • Early Japanese sailors thought they could chase away storms
  • Official state cat of Maryland
  • An Irish wives’ tale says that rubbing a foot wart on this cat’s tail will make the wart go away
  • Maneki neko, a Japanese cat good luck talisman, is usually this cat

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Cat #2

  • Mix of Burmese and Siamese
  • Likes to talk
  • Very affectionate
  • Loves interactive toys
  • Very playful and energetic

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Cat #3

  • Likes to talk
  • Sensitive to human moods
  • Great leapers
  • Smart
  • Highly social

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Cat #4

  • Highly intelligent
  • Crave human attention
  • Love to touch their favorite humans
  • Love to carry toys and other objects in their mouths
  • Very adaptable to new situations

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Cat #5

  • Affectionate
  • Love water
  • Great jumpers
  • One of the largest breeds
  • Very playful

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Cat #6

  • Natural athlete
  • Friendly and family-oriented
  • Adaptable to new situations
  • Fun loving
  • Would rather cuddle than prowl

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Cat #7

  • Thought to have a strong attitude about most things
  • Celts believed the males were good luck
  • Japanese sailors believed the males protected them from ghosts
  • Are believed to bring money and have psychic abilities
  • If you dream about one, you’ll soon be in love

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Answers: 1 – Calico, 2 – Tonkinese, 3 – Balinese, 4 – Havana Brown, 5 – Siberian, 6 – Norwegian Forest, 7 – Tortie

Humans, don’t feel bad if you missed some, we cats have trouble telling most of you apart too.

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Ed. Note: Don’t forget that the cats that need you most are the (mainly) moggies/mixed breeds that are found in shelters. And most of them have paw-some personalities.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images.

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18

Family Feud for Cats

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Some of you may know that there is a TV game show in the U.S. called Family Feud. It has two families compete against each other by guessing the results of polls the show has taken. What most of you do not know is that there is also a version of the game for cats.

Host: Hello. I’m Maggie Moggy, and welcome to Family Feud for Cats!

(Wild applause)

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Maggie: Tonight, we welcome the Maine Coons

(Fans of the Maine Coons applaud and scream)

Maggie: Who will be competing against the Norwegian Forests.

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(Fans of the Norwegian Forests are equally loud)

Maggie: Does everybody know how to play? Each team has one representative at the buzzer. Whoever buzzes first gets to answer the question. Their team has a chance to guess the rest of the category for one point. If they are wrong, the other team gets to guess the answers.

(The teams nod)

Maggie: There are three questions and the top three answers for each question. Whoever gets two points first goes to the Bonus Round for a year’s worth of fresh fish and 50 pounds of Royal Gourmet Cat Kibble.

Let’s have the first two contestants come forward. Put on the eyeshades to block out the distraction of the red lights on the cameras.

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Here’s the first question: What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “dog”?

(The Norwegian Forest hits the buzzer)

NF #1: Drool.

Maggie: That’s right! The first thing cats think of when they see the word “dog” is drool.

(Loud cheering)

NF #2: Easy to train.

Maggie: Yes! That’s number three. What is the second most common thing cats think of when they hear “dog”?

NF #3: Clumsy.

Maggie: That’s it! The Norwegian Forests win the first point!

(She waits for the cheering to die down. The second player from each team walks to the buzzers)

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The second question is “Where is your favorite place to sleep?”

(The Norwegian Forest is the first to hit the button again.)

NF #2: In the sun.

Maggie: Yes! That was the number one answer.

NF #3: On my human.

Maggie: You’re right! The Norwegian Forests are only one answer away from the Bonus Round.

(Their fans wait quietly for the third answer.)

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NF #4: With my furry siblings.

Bzzzt

Maggie: I’m sorry, that’s not in the top three. Maine Coons, what’s your answer?

(Mixed groans and cheers from the audience)

MC #2: The human’s bed.

Maggie: Yes! Now it’s one point for each team. The winner of the next round will go to the Bonus Round.

(She waits while the third player from each team walks to the buzzers.)

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Maggie: The third question is “What is your favorite thing to chase?”

(This time the Maine Coon is faster.)

MC #3: Mice.

Maggie: Yes! That’s number three.

MC #4: The red dot.

Maggie: Correct! What’s the final answer?

MC #5: Toy on a string,

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Maggie: The Maine Coons are going to the Bonus Round! The Norwegian Forests will each receive a twenty-pound bag of Imperial Princess Natural Non-Clumping Cat Litter for participating.

(Loud clapping and cheering continue as they go to a commercial break. Maggie and the Maine Coons are onstage when we return.)

Maggie: You need to choose one player for this round. I will ask a question with the top five answers. The chosen cat will need to come up with three of the top five in 30 seconds or less.

(After a brief discussion, MC #3 steps forward.)

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Maggie: The question is, “What is the dumbest thing your human has ever done?”

MC #3 (thinking): Got a dog, forgot to feed me, tried to hide the catnip.

Maggie: Congratulations! That’s right! The other two answers were “give me a bath” and “try to feed me cheap/diet food”.

(The Maine Coons are surrounded by friends and family as the show goes off the air.)

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All pictures courtesy of Google Images.