Category: kitties

Sunday Cats: A Cat Fluent In Sign Language?

A Reddit post with almost 30,000 upvotes claims a cat took it upon himself to learn sign language after realizing his human is deaf.

You don’t need me to tell you it’s nonsense, do you? It’s interesting how we’re willing to believe a cat can endeavor to learn sign language, but we — the supposedly more intelligent species — can’t be bothered to watch for emotions conveyed by the curl of a tail or a twitch of the whiskers.

Cats are incredibly smart little furballs, but just like the people who claim their cats are meaningfully communicating via talking boards with 100 buttons, this is just social media fodder for the credulous.

Unfortunately the credulous are numerous, although a few Redditors had a good time at their expense. One user complimented the addition of a VHS-like filter over the video clip, giving it a vintage quality.

“Not a filter. It’s been around for a while,” another Redditor responded. “The cat now knows ASL, English, French, Spanish, and is working on its doctoral thesis.”

A cat in a backpack? No, a cat backpack

In a reminder that the Japanese have an endless appetite for all things cat-related, the newest hot item among the Land of the Rising Sun’s neko-infatuated is a bespoke cat backpack hand-sewn by a housewife in Fukui prefecture.

The bags don’t come cheap. It takes Miho Katsumi between one and three months to make each one, and they’ll set you back about $1,000 each via Katsumi’s site. Check out her Instagram for more images.

How quickly do you think Bud would murder me if I came home with one of these in his image one day? 🙂

National Pet Day: An Occasion For Extra Snacks And Catnip

Dear PITB readers,

Today, April 11, is National Pet Day! On behalf of all your kitties, I am here with a gentle reminder that providing more snacks and catnip than usual is the only appropriate way to celebrate this great holiday, and they should be administered along with massages and generous amounts of praise.

National Pet Day should not be confused with Global Cat Day (Oct. 16), National Cat Day (Oct. 29), Hug Your Cat Day (June 4), or International Buddy Day (April 21). Additional yums, catnip and silvervine should be served on each of those days as well.

In addition, on International Buddy Day, there is a feast held in my honor, and my admirers pay tribute with special gifts of turkey pate, turkey treats, turkey bacon or whole turkeys. Toys are also acceptable.

Penalties for failing to observe any of these holidays may include, but are not limited to, extensive yowling, getting the cold shoulder, withholding snuggles, and being deprived of the delightfulness of my company.

Thank you for your understanding and anticipated cooperation.

Your liege lord,
Buddy
First of His Name, Champion of Yums, Prime Connoisseur of Turkey, Feline of Extraordinary Handsomeness, Humble King

Cat Lovers And Soccer Fans Pitch In To Help Severely Injured Kitty Who Ran Onto Field

Running onto the field in the middle of a professional soccer game is probably the best thing Topsey the cat ever did.

The nine-year-old tortoiseshell went missing in June of 2021 when her human, Alison Jubb of Sheffield (UK) was going on vacation and taking Topsey to a cattery. Topsey got spooked, bolted from her carrier, and after months of fruitless efforts to find her, Jubb thought she’d never see her cat again.

Then in the 94th minute of a Feb. 8 match between Sheffield and Wigan Athletic, a familiar-looking tortoiseshell dashed onto the field. Wigan’s Jason Kerr risked a penalty to catch and calm the clearly distressed cat while the crowd erupted in cheers.

“My daughter-in-law rang me last night and said, ‘Are you watching the football match?'” Jubb said. “I said ‘No,’ and she said ‘There’s a cat that ran on the football pitch and it just looks like Topsey.’ And I sort of laughed it off because I thought it won’t be.”

But the veterinarian rang the next day and, to Jubb’s surprise and delight, said the Sheffield woman’s cat had been identified via a microchip scan.

One of Sheffield’s season ticket holders happened to be a veterinarian, and when he offered to examine the terrified feline at the stadium, he realized she had serious injuries and brought her to a nearby clinic.

Topsey the Cat
Topsey in better times before she went missing. Credit: Alison Jubb

Topsey had survived her harrowing eight-months away and her bloodwork was okay, but the veterinarian said the tough little kitty had endured an attack by a dog or another larger animal, who picked her by her neck and shook her in its jaws. Topsey suffered broken bones, a damaged spine and had teeth marks on her neck.

The veterinary bill is hefty: Jubb was told she’s looking at about £10,000, or more than $13,000 in US dollars, to cover the exams, scans, surgeries and other necessities to relieve Topsey’s pain and mend her little body.

Generous cat lovers and soccer fans helped Jubb and Topsey reach that goal in just a few days. The campaign’s donations sit at £11,585 as of Feb. 19, and any money left over from Topsey’s veterinary care will be donated to a local rescue.

Topsey can’t walk properly because of her injuries, and in the 11 days since she was rescued, she’s been in veterinary care, recovering and scarfing down food after so many lean months left her malnourished.

Topsey Recovering
Topsey’s swaddled up in the care of a veterinarian. Credit: Alison Jubb

Despite the severity of her injuries, Topsey is “very comfy and she’s doing really well,” Jubb told the BBC.

Jubb says Topsey is constantly purring and is no doubt thrilled to be reunited with her humans and on the mend.

“Everybody has been brilliant, – my phone’s not stopped all day, it’s amazing,” Jubb said after Topsey was recovered. “And the players, I’d just like to say ‘thank you’ for being so gentle and kind with her and everybody who looked after her [on Feb. 8] because they’ve all been so nice with her and that’s lovely.”

This Little Guy Has The Ultimate Cat TV

Cats love watching fish almost as much as they love eating them, but felines and their aquatic counterparts are infamously difficult to keep as pets in the same house.

People who own standard aquariums inevitably learn they tend to double as unintentional treat cabinets for determined kitties who find ways to get at nature’s snacks inside. Some opt for supposedly more secure aquarium covers and resort to the usual tricks — double-sided tape, scent deterrents, foil — to keep their furry friends from climbing up to help themselves to treats.

Others take the easy route, pulling up hours-long Youtube videos of fish tanks for their cats’ amusement.

But one cat has the ultimate set-up, cat TV at its finest: A custom-built aquarium that provides him with a 360-degree view of the action from within the tank.

The cat’s name is Jasper, and his human, Melissa Krieger, bought the cat-approved tank from a Cincinatti shop that designs and builds custom aquariums.

There’s a cat-size shelf directly beneath the tank, and an observation blister built into the bottom of the tank itself, big enough for Jasper to poke his head up and get the closest view possible short of diving into the tank. Melissa even put a cat bed on the shelf so her furry overlord can watch the fish in comfort.

As you can see, the little guy loves it.

‘Don’t Let Anyone Tell You That Cats Don’t Bond, That Cats Don’t Love.’

We take a break from our usual inanity, humor and Buddy’s mind-bogglingly terrible advice column to call your attention to this beautiful tribute to a special cat.

Tom Wrobleski, an opinion writer for the Staten Island Advance, said a tearful goodbye to his cat, Malkovich, on Jan. 11. 

“I’ve cried more for that cat over the last three weeks than I have over some people that I’ve lost in my life,” he writes.

Tom says Malkovich was supposed to be his kids’ cat, but ended up bonding with him:

Mal would meet me at the door when I came home, flopping down and giving me his belly. He followed me into the bathroom. He curled up next to me in bed. He would flop in the hallway upstairs and rub his face on my foot.

Don’t let anyone tell you that cats don’t bond, that cats don’t love, that cats are stand-offish. Mal loved me. And I loved him. He was my buddy. My best boy. The top cat.

He became part of the fabric of our lives. He even grudgingly tolerated Lucy, the neighborhood stray we adopted in 2017.

Mal’s illness snuck up on Wrobleski, as so many cat health problems do because our furry friends are so stoic.

“We thought that Mal was getting a little chubby in recent months. It turns out that he was ill, with fluid gathering in his abdomen,” he wrote. “The news from the vet was dire: Mal had cancer throughout his body. There wasn’t a lot we could do.”

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The author’s favorite photo of Malkovich the cat. Credit: Tom Wrobleski

The rest of it is really sad and would have made Buddy and I cry if we weren’t so manly and tough. Wrobleski writes about how much he misses Mal, and how much Mal changed his life during the 11 years he was a part of the family. (They adopted the little guy when he was four years old, and he lived until he was 15.)

His pain at losing the little guy is evident in every word and anecdote.

Be warned, though, that if you’re not as tough as Buddy and I, you probably will shed some tears, which Buddy and I definitely did not do. In fact, immediately after reading Wrobleski’s tribute to Malkovich, Bud and I watched a football game, drank Budweiser and shopped for a good old American pick-up truck while practicing our Sam Elliot voices.

 

malkovich
Malkovich on the day he was adopted. Credit: Tom Wrobleski

 

malkovichlastday
Malkovich on his last day, sitting in one of his favorite spots and soaking up the sun for the last time. Credit: Tom Wrobleski

 

buddy_bed
“I don’t cry about anything…except vacuums, rustling paper bags, truck back-up beepers, dinner, and being locked out of the bathroom. But other than that, I’m fearless and keep a firm leash on my emotions!”