At Least 20 Cats Dead In ‘Worst Nightmare’ Shelter Fire

Sad news out of Orlando, where more than 20 cats died in a late night fire that destroyed the shelter where they lived on Wednesday.

Officials from the Orange County Fire Department said one section of the building was already engulfed by the time they arrived, with flames visible through the roof. They’re not sure yet how the fire started, but flame patterns indicate it started near the front of the Pet Alliance shelter, where the cats were housed.

Firefighters were able to rescue all the dogs and 10 cats, but at least 20 — and as many as 30 — cats were still inside, with first responders unable to get to them, per the Associated Press. Of the 10 cats who were rescued, some were moved to another Pet Alliance shelter, while a few were under veterinary care for smoke inhalation and burns.

“If you run a shelter, this is literally your worst nightmare,” Stephen Bardy, the executive director of Pet Alliance,  told WFLA, an NBC affiliate in Orlando. “To see your building in fire and know that there are animals in there that you’re charged to care for and you can’t go in. …I’m grateful that the firefighters put their lives at risk to help save as many as they could.”

We don’t want to leave you with bad news only today, so here’s a hopeful story out of Portland, where a cat cafe was able to adopt out every one of its cats in less than a day since its post-COVID re-opening on Sept. 4.

Purrington’s Cat Lounge has coffee, wine and beer on the menu for guests who drop by to hang out with the cafe’s feline residents and see adoptable cats. Although it’s a popular place in the community, it’s had a tumultuous few years: First it looked headed for closure after its owners planned to move out of town, but was rescued by a kitty-loving local couple.

The new owners renovated the space and had big plans for it, but those were halted along with everyone else’s ambitions with the arrival of the pandemic in 2020.

Finally, the renovated cat cafe reopened about two weeks ago, and Portland locals — perhaps daunted by the Delta variant and the prospect of more work-from-home, socially limited months — were eager to give the resident kitties new homes. Since Sept. 4, Purrington’s has placed more than 80 cats in forever homes.

Worship Us, Oh Puny Humans!

Pain In The Bud

Dear Buddy,

Did you hear the news about the cat mummies and the big trove of cat statues found by archaeologists in Egypt? My dad says Egypt is a special place ‘cause that’s where humans used to worship us a long time ago. Is that true? Why did they stop?

Kitten in Kentucky


Dear KiK,

Your dad is right! Egypt is a magical land, a place where humans were once keenly aware of our status as the most awesome species on Earth.

Egypt is where you’ll find the biggest litter box on the planet. It stretches for miles and miles until finally the horizon reveals a huge weather-worn statue of a cat and three stone pyramids jutting out of the litter.

The Great Sphinx and Pyramids of GizaThe Great Sphinx of Giza keeps watch over the world’s most sacred litter box.

It is said that by pooping in front of the Great Sphinx and reverently burying…

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Words of Wisdom From Buddy

Hark! Upon this day rejoice, for we bring you wise words from Buddy the Cat!

We’re often told to follow our dreams, but how many shareable quotes on social media actually tell us how to do so? It turns out there’s a critical step: To follow your dreams, you need to have dreams first! This is where Buddy sagely instructs us to begin, surrendering to sweet slumber so our unconscious can tell us what we really want:

buddy_napquote3
An important and common sense bit of wisdom from Bud.

On Jan. 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated at 43 years old, making him the youngest president since Theodore Roosevelt — and the youngest elected president. (Roosevelt assumed the highest office after then-President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901.) While an impressive feat, it was Kennedy’s speech that continues to reverberate throughout history: “Ask not what your country can do for you,” the newly-sworn-in president told the nation. “Ask what you can do for your country.”

Those were simpler times, before we made the wise decision to politicize viruses, rip each other’s throats out over vaccines, and apprentice ourselves to intellectual giants like Tucker Carlson and Joy Ann Reid, tuning in nightly to drink of their limitless sagacity as they educate us on how to cherry pick facts that support our respective world views and ignore everything that contradicts them.

Still, there are lessons to be learned from those innocent times, and Buddy has repurposed Kennedy’s quote to give it a deeper, more profound (and useful) meaning:

buddy_asknot
JFK has nothing on Buddy.

For our final bit of Buddesian wisdom, we return to the solution to so many of life’s problems: Sleep.

Why confront adversity when you can just take a nap? In this quote, Buddy advises the path of least resistance, a crucial strategy for anyone who finds themselves dealing with stress or anxiety:

buddy_adversityquote
Sink to meet the challenges of life!

‘Merica Saves A Cat On The 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Humans can be the cruelest of creatures, but sometimes we can be among the most compassionate.

That compassionate side came out on Saturday, the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, at a Miami Hurricanes game of all places.

Craig and Kimberly Cromer are Hurricanes season ticket holders who bring a large US flag to every game, which they’ve been doing for seven years.

Per the Miami Herald:

Early in the second quarter of No. 22 Miami’s home-opener against the Appalachian State Mountaineers, a murmur rose up from the student section at Hard Rock Stadium. The students, many attending their first-ever home game, noticed a cat dangling from the upper deck. The Cromers turned around and first thought it was a dog. Another fan nearby thought it was someone’s kid.

Once the Cromers realized what was happening, they sprung into action. Craig ripped his flag free from his zip-ties, and he and his wife stretched it out to create a landing pad for the terrified cat.

No one’s sure how the cat got into the stadium or ended up on the upper deck railing, but the entire stadium began paying attention when the cat lost its footing, grabbed a wire hanging from the underside and was desperately trying to hold on, its little body dangling precariously.

People seated in the upper deck tried to help, but by that point the black-and-white domestic shorthair was out of reach.

Video of the dramatic incident shows the fearful feline hanging on by its claws. At that point, the entire stadium was invested in the poor kitty’s plight, with thousands of people inhaling nervously as one claw broke away and kitty continued to hold on by a single paw.

The cat had drawn the attention of the game’s announcers as well by that point. There was no way the cat could have known people below were scrambling to break the fall, and kitty inadvertently released droplets of terror pee on the fans in the lower deck.

The Cromers grabbed the flag, “snatched it off the handrail and used it to break the cat’s fall,” Craig Cromer told the Herald.

Catching the little one was “probably the strangest thing that’s happened” to the couple, Kimberly Cromer said.

Footage shows the cat landing on the flag, then quickly tumbling into the section below, eventually ending up in the arms of a kind-looking woman who (we hope) was able to soothe raw nerves.

It was not immediately clear what happened to the cat, but it wasn’t a stray.

“It had a collar so it must be someone’s,” Miami student Dylan Marinov told WPLG, a local news station. Marinov recorded the drama on his smartphone and shared it online.

Hard Rock Stadium’s official Twitter feed said it had made a donation to the Miami Human Society in honor of the kitty’s safe landing, and said stadium staff “wish the cat the best in his remaining eight lives.”

Cats File Discrimination Suit After Ben & Jerry’s Releases Ice Cream For Dogs

WASHINGTON – A new lawsuit accuses Ben & Jerry’s of “blatant, systematic discrimination” after the company released a line of ice cream and frozen treats for dogs, but not for cats.

“Felines around the world are understandably hurt and feeling betrayed by Ben and Jerry right now,” the public interest group Cats’ Rights And Protection (CRAP) said in a statement. “Not only are these supposedly ‘good boy’ canines a bunch of frauds, but now they get to enjoy ice cream and delicious frozen treats like their humans, while we cats are relegated to eating the same cardboard-tasting dry treats and the admittedly juicy — but not frozen — meat sticks we’ve always had.”

Ben & Jerry's Doggie Desserts
Seriously?

The cat advocacy group, which lobbies for more favorable policies toward all felids, big and small, said Ben and Jerry’s oversight is “part of a larger, societal problem of viewing cats as second-class citizens who either don’t understand or don’t care that we’re getting the short end of the stick.”

“We’re not stupid,” the CRAP statement said. “We know an inferior snack when we see it, and it’s obvious Ben & Jerry are biased in favor of those mangy dogs.”

Meowsiharu Morimoto, the Iron Chef of the feline world, called on other ice cream makers to step in and correct the Vermont ice cream maker’s offensive errors.

“It’s long been obvious to anyone in the feline culinary world that our options for desserts and digestifs have been woefully inadequate,” the Japanese cat said. “Does anyone think of us cats? Does no one ever wonder ‘Shouldn’t cats get into enjoy yummy, palate-cleansing ice cream after feasting on fish and poultry?’ The lack of consideration is criminal! Shame on you, Jerry and Ben!”

Ice Cream for Cats?
*sniff* “Nom noms?”

Another door to the exclusive world of tasty desserts seemed to be closed to cats on Tuesday when a large group of feline demonstrators was discouraged by Cookies and Cream, a cat who counts the Häagen-Dazs founders among her humans.

“We hear you and we see your signs,” Cookies told the crowd. “But we’re not really nebulously Nordic masters of delicious frozen delicacies. Häagen-Dazs doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s complete nonsense! My human is from the Bronx. He just made Häagen-Dazs up, thinking that if Americans saw his ice cream as vaguely Norwegian or Danish, they’d think it was quality stuff and would be willing to pay a premium. Well, they do, and we’re rich, bitches!”

The Ice Cream Makers of America, in an attempt to quell the controversy, issued a statement of its own.

“Cats: You’re lactose intolerant! You can’t take two licks without getting brain freeze! You just aren’t a market for ice cream, sorry,” the statement read.

Note: It turns out there is an ice cream for cats, or more accurately an icy fish-flavored treat intended to cool kitties down on hot summer days. Has anyone given it to their cat? And yes, cats are lactose intolerant, so we shouldn’t give ice cream to our cat(s) no matter how many people on Youtube think it’s amusing.