Category: cat adoption

The Bizarre Effort To Brand Cats And Dogs According To Political Ideology

In one of my favorite South Park episodes, Kyle’s father Gerald uproots his family and moves to San Francisco because, he explains, he can no longer stand the narrow minded, gas-guzzler-driving, gun owning people of South Park.

He throws a party in his San Fran townhouse, inviting his new neighbors who all have multi-hyphenate last names and a habit of speaking with their eyes closed, settling into deeply self-satisfied reverie as they literally savor the smell of their own farts.

“Can you believe those morons in Texas just executed another prisoner?” one of Gerald’s new neighbors says, tooting into an empty wine glass before raising it to his nose like an aromatic vintage and taking a deep, enthusiastic huff. “Things are just so much more progressive in San Francisco.”

While reading this article about the Portland metro area boasting the highest percentage of single cat-owning men in the country (more than twice the percentage here in New York, and almost three times more than Miami), I couldn’t help but picture some of the men in the story as crudely drawn South Park characters, inhaling air biscuits as they associate an animal with their politics.

“I think it makes sense because it’s a more progressive part of the country,” one of the men told the Seattle Times as he tried to explain Portland’s high percentage of single “cat daddies.” “I think there’s more freedom to not be ‘toxically masculine’ in this part of the country.”

Because we can’t help but ruin everything with politics in this country, the effort to drag cats and dogs into the left-right divide has been picking up steam in recent years, aided by click-seeking media.

Republicans Are Dog People, While Democrats Prefer Cats,” reads a Business Insider headline. “What our cats and dogs say about our politics,” reads another from the Washington Post. Time magazine quizzed 220,192 readers on their politics and pet preferences, concluding: “It’s True, Liberals Like Cats More Than Conservatives Do.”

The alleged political divide over companion animals has been the subject of research papers in psychology and veterinary journals, and pets are now routinely included in the ideologically-motivated invective that saturates social media. Conservatives are portrayed as poor, shotgun-toting rednecks driving beat-up pickups covered in Gadsden flags while their faithful but stupid dogs hang their heads out of the windows, trailing globs of drool.

Liberals, meanwhile, are portrayed as unmarried middle age women who spend their Saturday nights on their couches with pints of Ben & Jerry’s and their feminine, useless cats, bemoaning their lack of relationships.

The incels and pick-up game “artists” have even gotten in on it.

“Only a cat-owning bitch would complain to the police about a f—ing joke,” manosphere influencer Andrew Tate raged in a 2022 video after one of his intentionally inflammatory social media posts provoked a stronger response than he anticipated. “Who calls the police on a f—ing joke? Cat owners. Cat owners are liberals. Cat owners believe in hate speech. Cat owners are Democrats. Cat owners are dickheads!”

Tate, by the way, has been rotting in a Romanian prison since December after he was arrested and accused of running a human trafficking ring that exploited young women. Tate, his brother and their associates lured the victims with declarations of love and promises to get married. Once the young women arrived in Romania, the country’s authorities said, Tate and his crew would confiscate their passports, imprison them in Tate’s mansion near Bucharest, and force them to perform sex acts on live streams for the financial benefit of the defendants.

Tate was arrested after unsuccessfully trying to troll Greta Thunberg on Twitter by showing off his expensive, gas-guzzling hypercars and bragging that he likes to eat pizza without recycling the boxes. Romanian police, who were already looking at Tate in a wider human trafficking probe, noticed the pizza boxes seen in his videos were from a local chain and moved quickly to arrest him.

Tate has lost three appeals to toss the case, which is ongoing. But the alleged human trafficker still boasts a massive and loyal online following, and as far as his fans are concerned, his words are law. If Andrew Tate says cats are the preferred pets of “liberal bitches,” then it’s true in the eyes of his fans, many of whom pay hundreds of dollars a month for an online “school” where Tate purports to teach them the finer points of masculinity.

Aside from ruining yet another one of life’s joys by dragging politics into it, I’m worried that pets will pay the price for the misguided effort to associate them with ideology.

Cats in particular are already extremely vulnerable and tend to get the brunt of abuse by proxy. That is to say, studies show men who are abusive toward women often target cats belonging to women as proxies for their anger. They associate felines with the feminine. Women target cats to harm their exes and significant others as well, but there’s a lack of statistics since men don’t usually seek help in domestic violence situations.

Likewise, sitting on porches while drinking beer and shooting at critters who happen by is practically an official sport in some parts of the country. As someone who has Google News alerts set up for cat-related stories, I see the same depressing stories every day: cats who die a few feet from their front doors or who make it home with BB wounds, arrows sticking out of their chests or actual gunshot wounds.

Those stories are so common, it’s difficult not to despair for the poor cats and for whatever diseased way of thinking prompts people to hurt and kill innocent animals.

Do we really want to give people more incentive to kill cats?

Do we want gun owners regaling each other with stories about how many “liberal cats” they’ve shot?

Do we want potential caretakers passing on adopting cats because they’re worried their choice of pet indicates they belong to a certain ideological tribe? After all, everything from the cars we drive and the stores we shop, to observing basic hygienic practices during a pandemic, allegedly says something about our political beliefs.

Buddy the Handsome Cat
Buddy the Cat: Not wimpy!

As for men who love cats, we already deal with absurd stereotypes. (We’re invariably described as gay, feminine and somehow not as manly as dog owners, even those of us who have hulking, muscular house tigers like Buddy!) We don’t need to encourage even more stereotypes, and in general I think we could all do with less box-checking. Life is not a Myers-Briggs test.

I know one thing for certain: cats are masters of living in the moment, and they have no patience for human nonsense like politics. They are innocent and pure. Sullying them with political associations is a disservice to these regal, wonderful animals.

Cat With Gang Tattoos Rescued From Mexican Prison, Up For Adoption

On Jan. 1, the inmates in one of Mexico’s most notorious prisons celebrated the New Year by starting a riot.

Ten prison guards and seven inmates lost their lives in the violent chaos, and thirty inmates escaped the CERESO 3 prison, according to press reports from Mexico.

When authorities finally regained control — an effort that required the military, national guard and local cops — they conducted a sweep of the facility for contraband and weapons, and that’s when a police K9 unit found a cat wandering the dangerous grounds by himself.

Dubbed “the gangster gato” by the local press — he doesn’t yet have a real name — the feline was taken into the care of Juarez’s Department of Animal Welfare for the Rescue and Adoption of Pets while police complete their investigation.

The cat, who reportedly belonged to the late Los Mexicles gang leader, is in good health. Credit: Juarez Animal Control

He’s an Egyptian, a breed that commands up to $2,000, and reportedly belonged to Ernesto Alfredo Piñon de la Cruz, aka “El Nato,” the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel-aligned Los Mexicles gang. Cruz was the alleged “mastermind” of the escape who died on Jan. 5 when police caught up to him. He didn’t go quietly and died in the resulting shootout.

Although it may be difficult for Americans and others to imagine how prisoners could keep pets, stories about the subsequent raid and sweep say authorities found “VIP cells” stocked with amenities like space heaters, air conditioners, personal washing machines and various other electronics. The Chihuahua State Human Rights Commission and other NGOs had previously warned that the inmates were “practically running the prison,” and that guards there didn’t have the manpower or will to crack down on illegal activity in the cell blocks.

Gang leaders and others who had power were able to set up their cells like lounges, with couches, plasma TVs, video game consoles, stereos and card tables. One had a pet snake in a terrarium, and several kept safes full of cash they’d use to pay for items smuggled in through a secret entrance. There was even a mechanical bull to amuse the inmates and help them kill time.

In all, authorities seized more than 2,800 pieces of contraband, according to reports.

“The privileges are over,” Chihuahua Gov. Maru Campos said earlier this month as authorities showed some of the contraband and weapons they’d seized to reporters.

The cat is in good health, staff at the Juarez Department of Animal Welfare say. He’ll always carry scars from his time in CERESO 3, unfortunately, because the Mexicles tattooed him with the gang’s logo and an associated slogan, “Hecho en Mexico,” or “Made in Mexico.”

Despite living in such chaotic and dangerous conditions, “the cat is very sociable, and is in great shape, with no infections,” said Cesar Rene Diaz, a Juarez official.

The city is taking applications for adoption and a committee of Juarez officials will make the final decision on who gets to give the kitty a forever home. Government officials and their relatives are barred from applying to adopt the cat.

UK Couple Narrowly Avoid Striking ‘Big Cat’ In Road, Cali Cat Cafe Holds Festivus Fundraiser

A UK couple say they narrowly avoided hitting a big cat that bolted in front of their car Wednesday morning.

Chris and Marion said they were driving on the A303 in Hampshire, a rural road in southern England surrounded by farmland, fields and wooded stretches, at 7 a.m. when the felid leapt across the road and ran into a nearby field, possibly giving chase to prey. While others suggested it could have been a lynx — which went extinct in the UK more than 1,000 years ago — the witnesses ruled out the possibility, saying the cat was “twice the size of a fox” with a tail that was “thick and solid.”

When they made a Facebook post about the encounter, several others claimed they’ve seen a similar-looking “big cat” moving through Hampshire’s fields. There are several groups dedicated to alleged big cat sightings in the UK on Facebook.

It’s the latest in a surprisingly persistent legend of phantom big cats prowling the British countryside. There are no extant big cats in the UK or in Europe. They exist only on other continents: Lions and leopards in Africa, tigers and leopards in Asia, and jaguars in South America. Among felids that are not true big cats but are often grouped with them, pumas exist only in the Americas and cheetahs are exclusively found in Africa.

Despite that, hundreds of witnesses report seeing feliform animals much larger than well-fed ferals or small wildcats. A similar phenomenon exists in Australia, where for years people have insisted they’ve seen big cats slinking through the bush.

Ghost Cat
“Ghost Cat” illustration by Ken Jovi Credit: Ken Jovi/Artstation

While it’s possible that people in the British countryside or Australian bush are illegally keeping large felids, and it’s possible that a handful could have escaped over the decades, that’s an unlikely explanation for the sightings for several reasons. While big cats are apex predators, animals who have lived in captivity all their lives and have been given food will not know where to go or how to hunt. In places like Texas, where as many as 5,000 tigers live in backyard enclosures, escaped cats are quickly spotted wandering human neighborhoods, confused and looking for food.

If an escaped tiger or leopard was somehow able to rapidly adjust to the English countryside and fend for itself without being spotted, there would be evidence — pug marks, droppings, claw marks denoting territorial boundaries on trees, the carcasses of prey animals, burglarized pens, farm animals missing and terrorized.

That goes double if, as some suggest, there is a breeding population of panthera genus cats. Even a handful of such animals would consume thousands of pounds of meat each week.

Still, as Wednesday’s alleged sighting proves, rumors of large cats stalking the mists of the English countryside are unlikely to die out any time soon.

A Festivus for the Rest of Us…And Our Cats

Festivus is the celebration that keeps on giving.

The operators of Tail Town Cats, a cat cafe in Pasadena, California, are hosting a Festivus get-together that will double as a showcase for adoptable kitties and a way to help support adoption efforts.

Hosted by a cat named Art Vandelay — who found his forever home through the cafe — the celebration will include a traditional Festivus pole, the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength. (Among the grievances listed in advance are general disappointment with the frequency of treats, displeasure at sharing litter boxes, and humans who recycle cardboard boxes instead of giving them to the felines.)

People in the Los Angeles area can attend in person, while others can watch online.

Art Vandelay
Art Vandelay found his forever home through the cat cafe and will return to host its first-ever Festivus celebration.

Seinfeld fans will recognize Art Vandelay as George Costanza’s most frequently-used alias. Vandelay is alternately described as an importer-exporter or as an architect. As George famously said: “I’ve always wanted to pretend to be an architect.”

As for Festivus, it’s taken on a life of its own 25 years after it was popularized on Seinfeld.

The made-up holiday had its humble origins in the home of writer Daniel O’Keefe, who introduced it to the nation — and immortalized it in the process — by writing it into “The Strike,” a 1997 episode of the sitcom. At the time, Seinfeld was a ratings juggernaut, averaging more than 30 million viewers an episode. Festivus is celebrated annually on Dec. 23.

Sunday Cats: Should Kitties Be Allowed On Passenger Jets? Plus: Footballers Adopt Cat From Qatar

Happy Sunday, dear readers. Buddy’s apparently angry with me about something, because I found a copy of this on the printer:

Human Buddy 4 Sale
Listed under “For sale by owner.”

What could I have done to deserve this? And $16? Isn’t that a little low? It’s insulting! We’re gonna need to have a little chat, Buddy to Buddy.

Should Cats Be Allowed On Airplanes?

CNN’s Jacqueline Swartz has a column about the challenges of traveling when you’re afflicted with severe allergies. Swartz is thoughtful, isn’t resentful of cats and understands it’s on her — for the time being, at least — to prep for flights by taking allergy medication, but she also believes airlines can do more to accommodate people who are allergic to pets.

As a cat guy and someone who dealt with really bad cat and dog allergies in my childhood and teenage years, I can sympathize with Swartz’s plight, and I agree that airlines can do more.

Of course, by “Should cats be allowed on airplanes?” she’s really asking if cats should be allowed in the passenger cabin. Even if a feline’s snug in a carrier, tucked beneath its human’s seat and well-behaved during the flight, a relatively short six-hours from New York to LA can cause all kinds of havoc on the immune systems and sinuses of people who are ultra-sensitive to cat dander.

Cat on passenger flight
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Putting cats in cargo compartments is not an answer, and neither is banning cats from flights. Sometimes flying with a cat is a necessity, whether you’re moving cross-country or planning to live abroad temporarily. But airlines are notorious for trying to extract every dime from passengers, whether it’s charging thousands for business class or up-selling regular seats as “premium coach” by offering a Louis Vuitton-branded pillow or whatever.

Perhaps some enterprising airline executive could build goodwill with travelers, earning extra business and loyalty along the way with an innovative and friendly way to handle animals. How much space could possibly be required for a quiet, closed-off, climate-controlled closet where six or eight cats in carriers can snooze during a flight? That would solve the allergy problem, make life easier for everyone and probably make traveling easier on cats too.

Dave the Cat has a new home in England

While a thoughtless PR official for Brazil’s national team drew the ire of animal lovers for the way he mishandled a cat during a press conference — an unforced error, since the cat wasn’t bothering anyone — some good is coming out of the World Cup for at least one feline.

Dave the Cat, a friendly stray befriended by England defenders Kyle Walker and John Stones, will be adopted by the players, who both suit up for the Premiere League’s Manchester City during normal club play.

Dave, a cream-colored tabby, won’t be reunited with his new pals right away. He’ll have to endure four months of quarantine first, as per the UK’s rules on bringing animals to the country, and then presumably he’ll be adopted by Walker, Stones or the entire team.

Brazil World Cup cat
An official with Brazil’s national team caught heat for the way he picked up and tossed a cat in Qatar. (Screengrab)


Cat in Qatar
Thankfully, the cat seemed unharmed.

Stressed Cat Crying In Shelter After Her Human Passed Away Is A Reminder: Have A Plan For Your Kitties

I’ve already made my family swear to me that, should something happen to me, one of them is to take Bud and treat him as an extension of me.

That’s because, as handsome and delightful and meowscular as the little guy is, he can also be a little terror at times, and God forbid he ends up in a shelter, scared and confused, then lashes out at a staffer and gets condemned to the needle.

We’re talking about a cat who has attacked his cat sitter repeatedly, smacked an admirer for petting him too long, and — while he has improved dramatically over the years — has bitten and scratched me many times, usually when he’s freaked out about something.

I love him. Someone else may not. He has to stay with someone who loves me enough to treat him like a part of me, someone who knows how much he means to me.

Although I’m not a fan of linking to TikTok, this video is a reminder why it’s so important to make arrangements. Sunny here found herself at Orange County Animal Services after her human mom died, and she’s not doing well. In addition to losing the human she loved and only home she knew, she’s now in a scary new place with new people and animals, confined to a tiny enclosure.

Photographer Albert Harris, who shot the video, said the shelter has received an application to adopt Sunny since he posted the video online, so let’s hope the distraught kitty finds a new home quickly:


Sunny needs your help. And it’s not 💩 on the blanket. It’s just treats but she is stressed not to eat them. She is at Orange County Animal Services! #catsoftiktok #sheltercat #cattok

♬ suara asli – DENII – DENII