Category: news

New Administration, New White House Cat

President-elect Joe Biden will bring a pet cat with him to the White House.

CBS News wants us to know this is an “exclusive” report!

The Bidens don’t actually have a cat yet, according to media reports. It’s not clear if they plan to adopt or purchase one, although my best guess is that an image-conscious First Family will go with the former route.

When they do, they’ll put a cat in the White House for the first time since George W. Bush’s India, who lived to the ripe old age of 19.

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Jackie Kennedy and her daughter, Caroline, with a pair of kittens. Tom Kitten, right, was Caroline’s pet cat.

Before that was Socks (Clinton), Cleo and Sara (Reagan), Misty Malarky Ying Yang (Carter), Shan (Ford) and Tom Kitten (Kennedy). Misty and Shan were both Siamese cats. The Obamas had only dogs, as did most historical US presidents, while outgoing President Donald Trump and his family did not have any pets.

Man files lawsuit for return of stolen cat

Pro tip: If someone is obsessed with your cat, comes by just to see him, and repeatedly offers to buy him, it’s probably not a good idea to allow that person to cat-sit your furball.

Zivadin “Chris” Krstic, a 79-year-old shop owner in Manhattan, has accused a woman named Amanda Walker of turning a pet sit into a cat heist after she offered to take care of his cat, Sammy.

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Sammy at Krstic’s plant shop in Manhattan.

Krstic was stuck in Florida during the early days of the Coronavirus epidemic, with travel severely restricted and doctors advising him not to risk it at his age. (New York was also a complete mess at the time, and travel was severely restricted.)

One of his employees was taking care of Krstic’s cat, Sammy, when Walker offered to “help” by taking him.

When Krstic returned, Walker kept asking “to keep Sammy for a few extra days,” according to a lawsuit filed by Krstic seeking the return of the four-year-old ginger-and-white cat.

Finally, Walker told Krstic she wasn’t giving Sammy back to him. The reason? Walker told Krstic he didn’t clean Sammy’s teeth properly, and the cat was “good company” for her.

After that, Krstic alleges, Walker ghosted him and wouldn’t return his calls. She even threatened to take out an order of protection against him, according to the New York Post.

“The cat is perfectly healthy. I take care of him like my own children,” Krstic, who’s had Sammy since kittenhood, told the tabloid. “It’s very sad. I can do nothing. My cat is like part of me. [Walker] is hiding. I tried the nice way and then finally I say … we have to go to the court and let the court decide.”

Cat Unimpressed With Huge Alligator At Its Door

A house cat in Florida looked decidedly unimpressed by a massive alligator that tried to force its way into the cat’s home earlier this month, sitting calmly just a few feet away as the alligator pressed against the front door.

”Hey!” we imagine the cat saying. “This home is taken! This is my house and these are my humans, and if you think you can just break into my territory, you got another thing coming!”

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The photo was taken in Sarasota, Florida, where it’s not unusual to see the predatory reptiles waddle their way through developed areas, particularly during storms. In the viral photo — which has been shared more than 104,000 times on Facebook — the alligator’s belly is pressed up against the glass door, which itself is reinforced by wrought iron in a floral motif.

We asked Buddy the Cat whether the sort of bravery exhibited by the Tuxedo in the photo is typical of all felines.

“Ahhhh! What the hell is that?!?” Buddy said, jumping back six feet. “I mean, uh, of course I’m not scared. Us cats eat alligators for breakfast!”

Photo credit Ed Werdell/Facebook.

French Couple Buys ‘Savannah Kitten,’ Gets Tiger Cub Instead

A French couple who answered an online ad to buy a Savannah kitten ended up with a tiger cub instead.

The couple, from Le Havre — a coastal town in Normandy, about 110 miles west of Paris — plunked down $7,000 for the little cat, who they were told was an exotic mix between a Serval and a domestic cat.

After about a week, they realized their “kitten” was a tiger cub and contacted authorities, UPI reported. Specialists from the French Biodiversity Office determined the cub is a Sumatran tiger and are caring for the growing cat.

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That happened back in 2018, and the reason we’re only hearing about it now is because French police have completed their investigation in which they tracked down the seller and arrested nine people on animal trafficking laws.

There are only some 4,000 tigers remaining in the wild in the entire world. Habitat destruction, poaching and the illegal wildlife market are the primary causes pushing the iconic big cats to extinction.

Meanwhile, Buddy the Cat believes he too was born of wild tiger stock and was mistaken for a common kitten when he was adopted by Big Buddy.

“Obviously, they dyed my fur gray,” Buddy said. “But they couldn’t do anything to hide how ripped I am.”

All images via Wikimedia Commons.

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Study: There Are 5 Types Of Cat Owners

When it comes to attitudes about hunting and impact on local wildlife, there are five broad categories of cat owners, a new study says.

Four out of the five aren’t particularly worried about their cats killing birds and small mammals, the University of Exeter researchers wrote in the study, which was published in Frontiers In Ecology and the Environment, a research journal.

  1. Concerned Protector. These are people who keep their cats indoors to keep them safe from the world. Their main worries are cats being stolen, lost or killed. They don’t have strong feelings about hunting behaviour and wouldn’t keep their cats indoors solely to stop them hunting.
  2. Freedom Defenders believe cats should be able to roam where they please, like wild animals. Cats hunting is a good sign of normal behaviour and helps control the rodent population. They oppose any restrictions of cat access to the outdoors.
  3. Tolerant Guardians believe that the benefits of roaming outweigh the risks of the cat being injured or lost. They love wildlife and cat hunting is the least attractive part of cat ownership, but it is just what cats do. They’re not sure how cat owners can effectively reduce hunting behaviour.
  4. Conscientious Caretakers believe cats should have access to the outdoors but they don’t oppose some containment. Hunting by cats really bothers them, and they particularly worry about birds. They believe owners should have have some responsibility managing their cat’s hunting behaviour.
  5. Lasseiz-faire landlords believes it’s natural for cats to want to go out into the natural world and if they fall foul of it (dogs, bigger cats, SUVs) that’s natural too. They’ve never seriously thought about the effects of cats on wildlife populations. They’d be more likely to manage their cat’s hunting behaviours if it was killing things all the time.

You can take a short quiz (16 multiple choice questions) to find out what kind of cat caretaker you are. For what it’s worth, the quiz says I’m a “conscientious protector,” which sounds about right.

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In his mind, of course, Buddy is a fierce, powerful feline and a mighty hunter. In reality he’s hilariously inept at the hunting games we play, and no matter how many times I’ve brought him outside on his harness, he goes into sensory overload every time, spending the first 20 minutes nervously huddled before he relaxes, his tail shoots up and he starts to enjoy the new sights and smells.

Fortunately I don’t have to deal with a cat who pines for the outdoors. Bud has no desire to go out there on his own, and he won’t even step onto the balcony if it’s too hot, too cold, raining, snowing or especially windy.

Most of all it’s too dangerous out there between traffic, potential predators like coyotes, train tracks, other cats and people who will abuse or kill cats just because they can. I don’t want to lose my little Bud.

Dear readers, if you take the test, please let us know which category it placed you in.

Cat’s Brutal Murder May Be A Hate Crime, Police Say

After Josie Saltarelli’s cat, Capone, went missing for a few days, it was her 13-year-old daughter who found him — directly across from the family’s driveway and cleaved neatly in two, as if to send a message.

“I don’t know how anyone could do that to an animal,” Saltarelli told a local TV news channel in Oklahoma. “The last image we have of him is cut in half and gutted. My 13-year-old daughter had to see that and that is our memory of him, and it’s awful.”

Capone had been with the family his entire life, for nine years, and was well-loved, his family and neighbors told local media. He was found on Aug. 20.

Police and a local veterinarian have ruled out another animal, due to the precision of Capone’s wounds and the fact that the cat was placed in front of their home.

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Capone in his family’s home.

Now there’s a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest, and police in Tulsa are treating the killing as a hate crime. They suspect the cat was killed because Saltarelli’s boyfriend is a police officer, and the family flies a “Thin Blue Line” flag in front of their home as a message of support for law enforcement. Like officers in many smaller jurisdictions, Saltarelli’s boyfriend also drives his patrol car home and parks it in his driveway.

“For that reason, investigators believe someone could be targeting the officer and his family,” the Tulsa Police Department wrote in a press release about the case.

The Oklahoma Alliance for Animals is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing Capone.

“It is well documented and proven that violence and abuse against animals leads to other major crimes,” the group wrote in a Facebook post about the killing, “including violence against children and elders. We need to find the person who did this.”

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The pro-law enforcement flag in front of the family’s Tulsa home.