Cats come in many different sizes and coat colors, but there’s one thing they all have in common: A love of food. This week we asked nine kitties what their favorite fancy feast is.
Anae Evangelista was reeling from the deaths of two close friends when she saw Parsnip in a local shelter’s online post.
The 21-year-old college student had been thinking of getting a cat for weeks after accompanying a friend to a local shelter. After checking the shelter’s adoptable pets again, she fell in love with an adorable tabby with a clipped ear and sky blue eyes and immediately made plans to see her in San Diego.
Parsnip took to Evangelista immediately.
“She was so affectionate, pushing her head into my hand for pets, and I knew she was the one,” Evangelista told PITB.
Although many cats take days or weeks to adjust to their forever homes, Parsnip “strutted into my apartment as if she owned it from day one, zooming all over the place [with] enough energy to bounce off the walls,” Evangelista said.
Although she had a rough start to life and was rescued from a hoarding situation, Parsnip was friendly, affectionate and warmed quickly to her new home. As human and kitten became fast friends, Parsnip’s presence was an immediate boost to Evangelista’s mental health.
‘She’s been my rock,” she said, “and although she can’t talk, I feel as if she’s constantly encouraging me to stay strong.”
But after about six weeks Parsnip’s energy level took a distressing dive. She was weak, slept a lot and wouldn’t eat much. A vet visit didn’t yield any answers, and the next day Parsnip displayed more telltale signs of a seriously sick cat — she stopped eating and drinking entirely, and began eliminating outside of her litter box.
After consulting another veterinarian, Evangelista finally had an answer. Little Parsnip was suffering from Feline infectious peritonitis, a more virulent strain of feline coronavirus that infects white blood cells resulting in dangerous inflammation, per the Cornell Feline Health Center.
“An intense inflammatory reaction to FIPV occurs around vessels in the tissues where these infected cells locate, often in the abdomen, kidney, or brain,” according to Cornell. “It is this interaction between the body’s own immune system and the virus that is responsible for the development of FIP.”
The disease is “usually progressive and almost always fatal without therapy.”
But there’s hope for Parsnip: With the help of her veterinarian and an online group for people whose cats have FIPV, Evangelista was able to get her kitty accepted for experimental treatment with GS-441524, a nucleoside analogue antiviral drug that has proven effective at treating all types of FIP in several trials in recent years. (It’s been so effective, in fact, that Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers have been supplying GS-441524 on the black market to cat caretakers who haven’t been able to get their cats into trials.)
Since starting the treatment, Parsnip’s responded well: She’s eating again, the swelling has been in retreat, and she’s once again interested in play time, exploring and other things cats love to do. She’s even able to hop up on the couch again.
That’s a far cry from her condition just three weeks ago when she had a 105-degree fever, no interest in things around her and couldn’t get up under her own power.
The 84-day treatment, subsequent vet visits, monitoring and blood work is expensive: Evangelista estimates it’ll cost her about $5,000 in total. She’s looking to raise half that amount via a GoFundMe. It’s a huge expense, especially for a college student, but for Evangelista, spending the money is without question.
“She’s been my foundation and she deserves the world,” she said, “so I want to give her the chance to live to see it.”
Follow Parsnip’s progress on Instagram @lilmissparsnip
The Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin was rocking a unique look during his appearance Saturday against the Atlanta Braves.
The Los Angeles reliever, known for a repertoire that includes a mid-90s fastball, an extremely effective splitter and a nasty slider, was wearing a custom pair of cleats with fake cat fur to represent his kitties, Tigger and Blu. The custom kicks also featured a graphic of a cute ginger tabby on the sides.
The 27-year-old hasn’t exactly been secretive about his love for cats, tweeting often about his furry friends and taking the opportunity to show them off every Caturday, but his Oct. 17 appearance was notable because he took it to a whole new level.
Alas, the Dodgers lost Saturday’s game on a ninth-inning walkoff single by the Braves’ talented Austin Riley. The 24-year-old has had a breakout season this year for Atlanta, hitting .303 with 33 home runs and 107 RBI, numbers that easily put him in the top echelon of offensive third basement.
But Gonsolin’s no slouch either. The righty boasts an impressive 2.85 ERA in three seasons in the MLB — all with the Dodgers — striking out 148 batters in 142.1 innings and posting a tidy 1.089 WHIP.
For our non-baseball-loving friends (me and Bud love us some baseball), that means Gonsolin is an extremely effective reliever, allowing few baserunners and keeping the ball out of play by frequently striking out batters.
Determined to get inside an apartment, the ginger tabby leaps onto the ledge of an air conditioner unit, then onto the roof, where he drags a piece of debris to the edge, swipes it off and watches it shatter a skylight.
Boom. Kitty door created!
The scene isn’t part of a Youtube video or a documentary about smart cats, it’s a gameplay sequence from the upcoming Stray, a game in which the protagonist is a lost cat who’s been separated from his family and dropped into an eerie, near-future Hong Kong.
The overlap (or Reuleaux triangle) in a Venn diagram of gamers and cat-lovers is pretty sizable, and for that enthusiastic cross-section, there’s no game more highly anticipated than Stray.
Previously we’d seen a short trailer and still screenshots, and now a video from the developers shows off more than four minutes of glorious game footage following the feline protagonist as he explores Hong Kong’s streets, back alleys and noodle shops.
The developers are clearly cat lovers: The kitty hero of Stray moves with the grace, energy and caution of a real domestic feline, and the game forces players to tackle obstacles and challenges the way a cat would. The protagonist cat gains access to a vent shaft, for example, by swiping a coffee mug into fan blades to get them to stop spinning. In another scene, the cat is startled, jumps a full pace back and lands on all fours in a way only cats can.
Everything from gait to reactions is perfectly cat-like. In the opening moments, our kitty hero is clearly injured, nursing one of his back legs as he hobbles down an alley. In a later scene he bats curiously at a drone the way a house cat would with a new toy.
There are no magic abilities or impossible inventories here: As the player, you can only do things a cat can do in real life, although you’re given a boost later on when a friendly character equips you with a harness on which B12, the above-mentioned drone, can dock. B12 can interact with man-made inventions, understand your cat’s intentions and facilitate rudimentary communication.
If, for example, your kitty character is dehydrated and stops to paw at a vending machine, B12 can send a signal to the machine, order it to dispense a beverage, then open it for the adventurous cat. B12 also helps your catagonist fight off enemies. By flashing a purple light at hostile machines, for example, the little drone can render them harmless and deactivate them.
Ultimately, though, the game designers want you to think in cat terms to make your way through the game world, and that means considering feline physiology when encountering obstacles, and feline psychology when trying to solve puzzles.
The project’s lead designers are both industry veterans who decided to strike out on their own by forming an independent studio after years of working for UbiSoft, the game industry giant known for game franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Watch_Dogs. Like those games, Stray gives players the opportunity to explore a highly detailed open world.
“Our goal is to create a unique experience playing as a cat. We are inspired everyday by Murtaugh and Riggs, our two cats,” creative director Viv said. “Most of the team are cat owners as well, giving us all a lot of helpful first-hand references. Cats are always so playful, cute and lovingly annoying that it’s an endless stream of gameplay ideas for us.”
For the game’s atmosphere, the creators were inspired by Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, a former military fortress that became a slum in the days of British-ruled Hong Kong, with Chinese triad gangs serving as de facto authorities in the lawless zone. Today, the former Kowloon Walled City is a park.
“It is also a very unique point of view for an adventure game. Exploring the strange world we are building feels really fresh when you’re sneaking under a car, or walking the rooftops with the inhabitants below unaware of your presence. Or if you want them to be aware, you can just meow endlessly to annoy them.”
Stray was originally slated for a late 2021 release, but it’s looking more likely that we won’t see it until the first quarter of 2022. Given the recent history of highly anticipated and rushed projects like Cyberpunk 2077, few gamers would begrudge a development team taking its time and getting things right rather than going into a months-long crunch period to meet a holiday deadline. Good things come to those who wait, especially in the complex world of game development.
To: Buddy the Larger
From: Buddy the Smaller But Smarter and Better Looking
Memorandum on National Respect Your Cat Day
Dear Big Buddy,
Last year’s spread was subpar and underwhelming, so you find yourself in receipt of this message in an effort to avoid repeating the Great Tragedy of 2020.
This year’s spread should include a selection of cheeses including cheddar, swiss, provolone and my personal favorite, gouda, in addition to a delicious array of meats including turkey, turkey and more turkey.
You can skip the veggies: No plants except catnip and silver vine!
In the spirit of today’s holiday you must play with me more than usual, give me more massages, tell me I’m a good boy at least 20 times, and above all, respect my authoritah!
It’s gonna be an epic partay!