Tag: Canada

Sunday Cats: ‘Cat Daddies’ Documentary, Misconceptions About Cloning

A trailer for ‘Cat Daddies‘ comes right out with it: Men who love cats are often stereotyped as oddballs.

“People see a cat dad and they think ‘Oh he must be weird and creepy,” says one guy, who is shown hilariously working out his biceps by lifting his cats in place of weights. “I feel like we’re getting to a point where it’s okay [to say] ‘Yeah, I have cats.'”

Another man recalled a conversation with his college buddies in which one of them floated the idea of adopting a few cats.

“The reaction was ‘No man, you can’t do that,'” he says with an amused look on his face.

Of course, PITB readers know it’s perfectly natural for men to love cats, especially cats as muscular, intimidating and tiger-like as Buddy.

But if you’ve ever wondered what the experience is like for guys who want to adopt kitties, ‘Cat Daddies’ takes a look at several men from different backgrounds and their beloved felines, from a homeless man in New York who won’t part with his tabby even it means he won’t get housing, to an Instagram star whose rise to fame has been propelled by his feline masters.

Californians can catch the documentary in person, and help fund a good cause, at an April 16 screening in Long Beach, CA, on behalf of the Little Lion Foundation. The California-based nonprofit specializes in caring for neonatal and young, abandoned kittens, as most shelters aren’t equipped to care for them and such kittens are often euthanized if they land in an animal control or kill shelter.

For the rest of us, check out the Cat Daddies site for a list of virtual screenings and festival events.

Man with kitten
Credit: Tim Douglas/Pexels

A grieving woman explains why she’s cloning her late cat

Kris Stewart adopted Bear, a five-year-old ragdoll “with a big, bold, sassy look,” in March of 2021.

Stewart, the CEO of a senior care company in Canada, described Bear as “the smartest animal I’ve ever owned,” and said the resourceful cat could work out how to open locked doors and windows.

“What I didn’t realize was his need for adventure and exploring,” she wrote in a column for Newsweek.

After “cat-proofing” her backyard and taking Bear on walks via a harness, Stewart decided the ragdoll needed to be outside to be happy. Bear “was off-leash by May 2021,” she wrote.

“Then, one day in January 2022, I let him out about 4.30pm and within about 20 minutes I heard something, saw cars backing up down the street and ran outside. Bear had been hit. Obviously it was my fault. I’m his guardian and I made the wrong decision, and I have to live with that.”

Stewart acknowledges that cloning is a process that involves mistakes, although it’s not clear if she’s aware just how gruesome the process can be. Likening it to “human parents who want to go through IVF rather than adopt,” she said she’s hoping the clone will have the same temperament as her beloved Bear.

“I would much rather replicate Bear’s genetic material into another cat than adopt again because I would love to see the personality of Bear live on,” she wrote. “He was the most brilliant animal I’ve ever owned. Research tells us that a significant portion of personality is carried in genes so I’m willing to take the chance. I’ve said before that Mother Earth is not finished with Bear and Bear is not finished with Mother Earth. So, if I can bring back his genetic material in the form of another cat, I would like to do that. If their personalities are a little different, that’s OK, I’ll be happy regardless.”

Bear the cat
Stewart with Bear.

It’s clear Stewart is devastated by losing Bear, and we don’t want to sound callous by criticizing her decision. Grief leads people to do all sorts of things, and there’s no “correct” way to cope. We all handle it differently.

At the same time, it’s wishful thinking to believe a clone is somehow a continuation of the original, or that cloning can bridge the considerable gap between nature and nurture. That’s just not how it works. Sadly, Mother Earth is done with Bear — there’s no continuity of consciousness.

Even in science fiction stories where cloning technology is flawless and human cloning somehow exists despite considerable moral and religious objections, it’s clear that cloning is, well, cloning: Even if the clone is perfect in every way, even if the process manages to faithfully reproduce personality and memories can somehow be transferred, there is no “bridge” between the original and the copy. For the person who is cloned, life ends when their consciousness blinks out, and nothing can resurrect it.

We hope Stewart finds peace and loves her new cat, but we don’t believe cloning is right answer when grieving the loss of a pet.

‘My Grandfather’s Cat’ Finds Future Homes For Pets of Seniors And The Terminally Ill

Buddy has a dirty little secret: He’s a biter and scratcher.

The little guy has improved dramatically over the past few years and it’s something we actively work on, but he occasionally has his moments when he gets freaked out and indiscriminately lashes out, or gets frustrated and redirects his flood of emotion on the nearest person, which is almost always me.

I love the little dude anyway, I can anticipate his moments of overstimulation or freak-outs, and I know how to calm him down.

But I also know that, if anything were to happen to me and Buddy ended up in the shelter system, he probably wouldn’t make it out. He’s even more likely to lash out in a scary, unfamiliar situation, and cats who bite and scratch are usually deemed unadoptable and put on the express route to the needle.

That’s why I made my relatives promise that, if I get hit by a bus or something, one of them has to adopt Bud, give him a loving home, and treat him as an extension of me.

Not everyone has that luxury, especially the elderly and the terminally ill. That’s why Angela Rafuse, a 27-year-old from Novia Scotia, founded My Grandfather’s Cat.

Rafuse’s grandfather had recently lost his wife of almost 60 years and had his own health problems that demanded urgent attention, but he resisted going to the hospital because he didn’t want to leave his wife’s cat, Mackenzie, alone.

“That cat was all he had left of my grandmother, and he didn’t want Mackenize to end up in a shelter,” Rafuse told People.

Rafuse with Mackenzie. Credit: My Grandfather’s Cat

When her grandfather passed away in 2019, Rafuse adopted Mackenzie. When she posted a video of the quirky cat to TikTok, the resulting discussion in the comments led to the realization that lots of people have been in similar situations, with relatives whose illnesses were compounded by worry about what will happen to their beloved pets when they’re gone.

“We heard stories from people who had to put their grandparents’ pets into shelters after they passed because there wasn’t a family member to adopt them,” Rafuse told blogTO, a local news site focused on Toronto.

My Grandfather’s Cat works “to keep the animal with their human up until the very last day and provide the comfort of knowing a loving family will adopt their pet when the time comes,” according to the non-profit’s site.

Refuse and volunteers work with people who are terminally ill, seniors who are forced to move into housing situations that don’t allow pets and other situations, and helps them find loving homes for their pets. Knowing their cats and dogs will be taken care of after they’re gone grants peace of mind to people who are already dealing with major life changes or their own mortality.

The group relies entirely on donations and doesn’t charge clients or adopters. My Grandfather’s Cat offers its services to all Canadian regions, and Rafuse said she hopes to expand to the US.

“It is the most rewarding thing in the entire world to be doing this,” she said, “and I know my grandfather would be proud.”

What Was Buddy Doing In Canada?!

Dear Buddy,

I saw the amazing footage of you chasing a coyote out of a parking lot in British Columbia a few days ago. What were you doing in Canada?

Aboot in Alberta


Dear Aboot,

Quite a few cities are reaching out to me for help these days. You might say I’m like a superhero, responding to distress calls to save the day.

As you know, I was at the head of a 1,000-cat-strong army in Chicago recently, tasked with using my brave legion to save the Windy City from an epidemic of rats. Normally the sight of me and my huge muscles is enough to send rats scurrying for whatever dank and disgusting places they’ve emerged from, but Chicago has a lot of rats. Like millions. That’s too many, even for me.

After conquering the rodential scourge of Chicago, I saw the Cat Signal illuminating the night sky, beamed from a town called Port Moody in the Vancouver metro area.

After flying there and making my entrance with a superhero landing to thunderous applause from the gathered townspeople, I was informed that coyotes were disturbing the peace.

“Please, Buddy,” the townspeople begged. “You’re our only hope.”

buddycoyote
A coyote is a blur, left, as it races to get away from Buddy, right.

Never one to deny people in need, I met the coyotes full on.

“This town is now under the protection of the Buddesian Tiger,” I told the coyotes. “You shall not pass!”

What you saw was the tail end of the clip, after I defeated a small army of coyotes and was chasing the stragglers out of the parking lot. The police clapped when it was over, and the mayor gave me a key to the city and an entire roast turkey!

So yeah, that’s what I was doing in Canada.

Your friend,

Buddy the Cat

Image credit: HeroMachine