Category: kitties

Buddy Gets A Reading From A Pet Psychic!

Did you know there are pet psychics?

They prefer to be called animal communicators, which makes their work sound more professional and less hokey, but the services they offer are pretty much identical to those offered by regular psychics, mediums, sorcerers and wizards. Per the totally legitimate site SheKnows.com:

Put simply, animal communication is a silent, telepathic language that functions via deepened intuition. Animal communicators are very much in tune with this ability and use it to have a dialogue with an animal. Animal communication is not about deciphering an animal’s body language or behavior, though. It’s an actual exchange of information between the communicator and animal in the form of words, mental images, feelings and more.

Buddy and I have several different means of communication: In the early morning hours he tells me he wants me to wake up by standing on my face and meowing into my ear, and I tell him to shut up and go back to sleep by throwing pillows at him.

By late afternoon Bud begins his daily ritual, communicating to me that dinner time is fast approaching and failure to serve yums on time will result in even louder and more annoying meows. I respond by threatening to sell him to the nearest Chinese food restaurant.

Clearly, we communicate well!

But could an animal communicator facilitate even better ways of exchanging information that don’t include vulgarities, face-walkings and late night ambushes?

We set out to ascertain the truth.

Pet Psychic Jana Melhoopen-Jonks
Paris Hilton consults Jana Melhoopen-Jonks, the famous pet psychic to the stars.

Animal Communicator # 1: The Long Island XL

Length of session: 42 seconds

Comments: “Relax your chakras. Open your inner eye and heart to the quantum energies of my chi. Okay. Good. Now I’m going to connect our minds. Oh my…Ugh. I’m getting an overwhelming stench. It’s…fish. And poultry. An ocean’s worth of salmon and enough turkey to feed a small country. More fish. More turkey. The clucking of a million portly birds, thousands of pounds of slimy salmon overwhelming my olfactory senses…I’m drowning in it. Oh God! Help me! Help me! Pull me out!”

Buddy’s comments: *BURP* She was pretty accurate.

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Animal Communicator #2: Edward John, animal telepath

Length of session: 18 minutes

Edward John: So this is your cat, Buster?

Me: His name is Buddy.

Edward John: Okay, so you want me to talk to little Bubba here and have him tell me what he’s thinking?

Me: Uh yeah, the usual. I want to know if he’s happy living with me, what he likes, and what I can do for him to make it even better.

Edward John: Okay. I’m performing the Vulcan mind-meld now. My mind to your mind…it is logical to accept the connection.

Oh my. He’s a ferocious little guy, isn’t he, your Bubba? I’m getting images showing him prowling the neighborhood…

Me: He doesn’t go outside.

Edward John: …prowling the living room, serving as enforcer to the other cats in the house…

Me: He’s an only cat.

Edward John: Right. I knew that. Now I’m seeing fleeting images of a female cat, a neighbor’s cat. Buster sired a litter with her…

Me: Buddy was neutered at 5 months old.

Edward John: …but he revealed he’d been neutered, so he couldn’t be the father, which is why they brought Smudge next door for a paternity test and he’s the baby daddy.

Edward John: Okay, your cat’s speaking directly to me now! He says he’s sorry he doesn’t meow much, but he promises to meow with joy if you feed him more tuna.

Me: He hates tuna, and the problem isn’t getting him to talk, it’s getting him to stop. He treats me to nightly dissertations, rendered in meow, on theoretical physics and the creamy texture of smoked Gouda.

Edward John: Whatever. That’ll conclude our 18-minute session at the low price of $350. We can keep going for only $39.95 per additional minute if you’d like me to continue probing Barry’s mind.

Me: I think Barry, Bubba, Buster and I are good. Thanks, Edward.

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Animal Communicator #3: Alison Doobwah, Medium

Length of session: 21 minutes

Alison: Okay, something’s coming through. I’m seeing a house. It could be white, or gray or maybe a light blue or tan. Does that sound familiar?

Me: No. We live in an apartment building.

Alison: Okay, I feel like he’s telling me he wants turkey. Does turkey mean anything to you?

Me: Yes, it’s all over the blog. It’s his favorite food. Not exactly a secret. Anyone could have looked it up.

Alison: A skeptic, huh? All right. I’m getting images, visualizations from the quantum reality, echoes of someone whose name begins with a D. Maybe Dave, Doris, Devon, Dirk, Debbie, Darren, Delilah or Decker?

Me: Nope. Neither of us know any Dorises, Devons, Dirks or Deckers.

Alison: Dominic? Diego? Dorian? Maybe Dakota or Desmond?

Me: No. Sorry.

Alison: Maybe an H? Oh, or a G? Does Buddy know a Greg, Gary, Gerald, Geordi or Gerrit?

Me: No.

Alison: What about grandma or grandpa?

Me: I had grandparents! That’s amazing! And my mom is like a grandmother to Buddy. Your intuition is outstanding!

Alison: I’m just reading the images I get from the astral plane. I’m merely the vessel through which the chakras broadcast their quantum energies and reveal their secrets.

Me: Makes total sense. What else?

Alison: He says he wants more toys. He says the snack selection in your home is sub-par, and that if you really love him, you’ll put more effort into buying a more diverse array of treats. He also says he wants a cat condo. In fact, he says he’s brought this topic up before, and he’s disappointed in your failure to follow through. Regarding sleeping arrangements, he says he’d like you to cut down on tossing and turning during the night, because you’re his mattress and excess movement disturbs his sleep. On the subject of wet food, he feels you don’t serve him turkey as much as he’d like, and that poultry should ideally be followed up with seafood. Regarding the vacuum…

Me: Okay, okay.  Enough. I get it.

Alison: But there’s more! He says…

Me: Any more complaints and he can tell them to the cooks at Szechuan Garden II. Comprende?

Alison: I think he just pooped in your shoe.

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Here Are The Top Cat Names In 2019

Buddy’s moving on up!

Buddy was the 11th most-popular for male cats in 2019, a newly-released list says. The list was compiled by Rover, a company that helps pet owners connect with pet sitters and walkers.

The top 10 male cat names in 2019 were:

  1. Oliver
  2. Leo
  3. Milo
  4. Charlie
  5. Max
  6. Jack
  7. Simba
  8. Loki
  9. Oscar
  10. Jasper
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Sacre bleu! Do I look like a Jean-Jacques to you, sir?

And here are the top 10 female cat names of 2019:

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Lucy
  4. Kitty
  5. Lily
  6. Nala
  7. Chloe
  8. Sophie
  9. Daisy
  10. Stella
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Call me Gertrude!

RIP Lil Bub, Famous Tabby and Feline Ambassador

Lil Bub, one of the first cats propelled to fame via the internet, has passed away according to her caretakers.

The tiny tabby, who was afflicted with feline dwarfism and the rare bone disease osteopetrosis, first came to prominence when photos of her popped up on Tumblr and Reddit in 2011. Her human, Mike Bridavsky, built a social media presence for the little cat, sharing her daily exploits with millions of followers on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Lil Bub’s celebrity was also used to raise money for animal welfare and homeless pets.

Bub’s unique look was a hit with online cat aficionados. Because of her conditions she remained the size of a kitten, her limbs were shorter than average, and her teeth never grew in. Most photos of the beloved cat show her tongue lolling out of her mouth and an inimitable facial expression that looked like a permanent smiley face.

Bub, who suffered complications from the bone disease, died in her sleep on Dec. 1, Bridavsky said. She was eight years old. Bridavsky, who said he’s devastated by the death of his cat, didn’t announce her passing until Dec. 3, presumably to grieve in private before getting bombarded with messages and media enquiries.

“I have always been fully transparent about BUB’s health, and it was no secret that she was battling a persistent and aggressive bone infection,” Bridavsky wrote on Instagram. “Even knowing this, we weren’t expecting her to pass so soon or so abruptly without warning. I truly believe that she willingly made the decision to leave her failing body so that our family would not have to make that difficult decision ourselves.”

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Lil Bub’s owner shared the first photo he took of the famous cat, left, and the last on Dec. 1.

“It is impossible to put into words the profound effect that BUB has had on my life, on the lives of thousands of homeless pets, and on the lives of those of you that have cared for her as if she were your own family. She taught me everything that I know about unconditional love, she brought my wife Stacy and I together, she’s the reason we have our beautiful children Rosco and Lula, and she has been a constant source of warmth and love in our lives for the past 8 years. To say that our family is devastated would be an understatement.”

Meet Feline Police Pawfficer Donut, A Cat Who Raises Cash for Charity

Community policing is the idea that people feel safer and are more likely to trust the police if officers are visible, accessible and know the people in the neighborhoods they patrol.

It’s a different model of policing, one that gets cops out of their patrol cars and onto sidewalks, parks and public events. Officers check in with local businesses, listen to concerns from the community and place a high priority on quality of life, acting on lessons learned from many research studies showing crime drops dramatically in places where there’s a stronger sense of community. (Community policing was the model used by the NYPD in the late 90s, dramatically transforming Manhattan’s worst neighborhoods.)

For example, drug dealers work corners in blighted neighborhoods where people won’t call the police, but they’re much less likely to extend their turf to places where people know their neighbors, take pride in their homes and don’t tolerate petty crime like graffiti and vandalism.

To help them connect with the local community, police in Troy, Michigan — a mostly suburban area north of Detroit — added a kitten to their force in 2018.

Pawfficer Donut of Troy Police Department
Pawfficer Donut is sworn in as a member of the Troy Police Department in 2018. Credit: Troy PD

Pawfficer Donut, as the tiny tabby is known, accompanies cops to local events, helps officers connect with kids in schools, and oversees regular meetups called “Coffee with Cops,” in which citizens can speak to officers in an informal setting to air concerns and provide feedback.

Now Pawfficer Donut is extending her beat to charitable fundraising, helping raise cash for Leuk’s Landing, a home for cats suffering from feline leukemia, and HAVEN, a group that aids victims of domestic violence.

For $25 you can support Donut’s fundraiser and get a sweet Feline Police Unit t-shirt. The proceeds go to the above-mentioned charities:

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To purchase a t-shirt and help Pawfficer Donut with her fundraiser, click here.

Donut is a former shelter cat. To follow her adventures on pawtrol, you can subscribe to her Instagram account.

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Donut even has her own badge. Credit: Troy PD

 

That Cat Allergy Vaccine Isn’t Such A Good Idea After All

Last month when news headlines trumpeted the successful testing of a cat allergy vaccine, we spun it as a victory for all cats: Finally, allergies would no longer be an excuse for humans to avoid cats, and kitties could conquer the remaining holdouts, those homes that still aren’t occupied by America’s favorite pet.

Cats will be everywhere! Huzzah!

We were wrong.

Reader Kamala Tirumalai is not only an animal lover, caretaker of a feisty guinea pig and all-around awesome person, she’s also an immunologist with a PhD in microbiology. In other words, this is her area of expertise.

So we asked Dr. Kamala about the vaccine — which would be administered to cats, not people — and she was kind enough to give it some thought and explain why she doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

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How HypoCat works

First, a refresher: HypoCat, a European company, created what it calls a “virus-like particle vaccine” “to induce neutralizing antibodies against Fel d 1, the major feline allergen in human subjects.” The vaccine was intended to “bind and neutralize the Fel d 1 allergen.”

In layman’s terms, the vaccine is designed to shut off the protein that triggers allergic reactions and symptoms like itchy skin, watery eyes and sneezing in humans. Contrary to what many people believe, the offending protein doesn’t come from cat hair, it’s produced in cat saliva and dander. But because cats are fastidious groomers, the allergen is passed from saliva to fur.

Vaccine administered to cats, not humans

HypoCat stops the protein, but there’s a catch: The vaccine is administered to cats, not humans, which means instead of inoculating people from the protein’s effects, it’s changing the way Fel d 1 operates in a cat’s system.

The problem, as Kamala points out, is that “Fel d 1’s function is still unknown.”

“Yet the fact that so many cat glands secrete it all the time implies it must have some function in and for cats,” she explained. “What if that’s a function important for their health? What’ll happen then to cats vaccinated against Fel d 1? That’s currently an unknown.”

By “neutralizing” Fel d 1 — in other words, making it non-functional — HypoCat could trigger an autoimmune response in cats not unlike human autoimmune diseases in which the body’s defensive systems turn on itself.

Tinkering with an unknown

In a paper published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the Swiss-based company’s researchers acknowledge the unknowns surrounding Fel d 1’s function, noting while “some function in pheromone binding and pelt conditioning has been suggested, the biological function of Fel d 1 remains uncertain.”

More than 50 cats from labs in New York and Ireland were used in the study. The study’s authors say they split the subjects into different groups to analyze immunogenicity (whether the vaccine produced an immune response) and tolerability, but there is no long-term data on how HypoCat might affect house cats.

Then there’s the moral and ethical aspect. HypoCat makes a potentially dangerous alteration to cats for the convenience of humans.