Tag: viral cats

Sunday Cats: Eurasian Lynx Captured On Long Island, ‘Loneliest Cat’ Has Been Returned To Shelter Twice

The saga of a “big cat” spotted on Long Island this week has come to an end with the animal’s capture.

Authorities believe the cat is a Eurasian Lynx and was a pet who escaped or was abandoned by his owner. The frightened feline was first spotted on Wednesday in Central Islip, Long Island, a suburb that stretches for 118 miles just south of New York City.

“Scared the daylights out of me,” Diane Huwer, a self-proclaimed cat lover who was the first to encounter the lynx, told the local ABC affiliate.

The area encompasses two counties and is one of the most densely populated places in the U.S. with more than 7.6 million people. It’s one of the worst places in the world for a wild cat to be abandoned, with heavy traffic, ubiquitous environmental noise and endless shopping plazas surrounded by labyrinthine residential neighborhoods.

It’s illegal to own wild animals in New York, and the cat’s “owner” likely would have kept it without a proper enclosure to avoid attention from authorities.

The lynx’s sightings made the headlines in the New York papers, as well as coverage by local TV news and online publications. It went viral on social media, with users trying to determine what kind of cat it was from the handful of blurry photos witnesses were able to snap. Some media coverage suggested it was a true big cat. (Here at PITB, we thought it was possibly a Savannah cat or an American lynx.)

lynxleonardo
Authorities said the Eurasian Lynx was clearly socialized and wasn’t aggressive when they finally caught him. Credit: SPCA

Local authorities searched fruitlessly for three days and were about to give up early Saturday morning when someone spotted the wild cat in a residential neighborhood and called police.

The hungry feline was pawing through garbage cans next to a house in Central Islip. Authorities said the young lynx was friendly and socialized to humans.

“He was rubbing his face on the cage, looked like he was a friendly cat and from the tips we’ve gotten,” Frankie Floridia of Strong Island Animal Rescue said. “It seems these people have had him since he was a baby.”

Veterinarians have named the lynx Leonardo de Catbrio and said he’s about a year old. Despite his ordeal, the 40-pound cat was not malnourished or dehydrated, and the vets who gave him a check-up said he’s in good health. They’re waiting on lab results to confirm his species.

“Someone obviously had it as a pet,” the SPCA’s Roy Gross told Newsday. “These are wild animals, not the type of animals anyone should have. … They don’t belong in captivity this way.”

In the meantime, police, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the SPCA are looking for Leonardo’s “owner,” who faces misdemeanor charges and a fine of up to $1,000 if he or she is convicted. They’re sure to have questions about how the person acquired a wild cat, let alone a non-native species. It’s been illegal to “import” wild animals since the Wildlife Act of 1976, and the illegal wildlife market has been a scourge on law enforcement and conservationists alike.

“I know everybody wants something that’s exotic,” Gross said. “They want something cool. It’s not cool.”

Header image of Eurasian Lynx courtesy of Pexels

A lonely cat in the UK needs a forever home

Eleven is a silver tabby who’s been returned to the shelter twice by would-be adopters, and staff at the shelter are appealing to the public to find her a forever home with patient humans.

The four-year-old with bright green eyes has been with Battersea Cats and Dogs in south London since April. Her rescuers say she takes a while to adjust to new surroundings, and they believe that’s why Eleven was returned twice within days. If Eleven’s failed adopters had been more patient, shelter staff said, they would  have discovered she’s a loving lap cat once trust is established.

Eleven the Cat
Eleven the Cat takes a while to warm up to new people. Credit: Battersea Cats and Dogs

They hope to place her in an “understanding home” with people who “will give her the time and space to settle in, as she would be a wonderful addition to a home.”

“Eleven needs her own space when she’s settling in, so she can hiss and swipe if pushed into interactions that she is not ready for,” a shelter spokesman told the Mirror. “She expects respect, but once given she will reward you with plenty of love. She is a super clever cat, who enjoys learning and she will sit on command for a treat of course.”

If Cats Sounded Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

There’s so much negative and stressful nonsense online that occasionally something will come along and remind us that the internet can also be a platform for fantastic human creativity, silliness and hilarity.

If this isn’t one of those things, I don’t know what is. Some genius dreamed up the idea of cats sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger instead of the meows we all know and (mostly) love. It’s glorious:

I love every ridiculous second of it, from the Schwarzeneggerian grunts to the insane babbling of the trio of cats watching birds from a windowsill, to the cat who looks at his human and says: “Come on! Come on! Do eeeit! Come on! We’ve got to go!”

It reminds me of comedian Pablo Francisco’s classic bit about Ahnold starring in a movie called “Little Tortilla Boy”:

Can you imagine your own cat(s) making Arnoldesque sounds instead of meowing? 🙂

buddyarnold

Dad And Mom Cats Hold Paws As Mom Nurses Newborn Kittens

A cat has been hailed as a better father than many humans after his people uploaded a video of the proud father holding paws with his “baby mama” while she nurses their kittens.

Momma cat went into labor and the chivalrous tomcat “was with her the whole way,” user Anaya wrote in the caption. The short video pans over the top of a cardboard box where the happy couple lounge protectively around their babies.

@1tspofdepression

Better baby daddy than most humans 🥲 caught them holding hands after the birth 🥹 #fyp #kittens #cutecatsoftiktok

♬ original sound – Anaya

A follow-up video shows the ginger tom with his kittens while mom takes a break to eat and rehydrate.

@1tspofdepression

Replying to @reb344 Daddy babysitting the kitties why mummy eats 😭 #daddyduties #fyp #cutecatsoftiktok

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

I showed the videos to Bud to get his reaction.

“That’s very sweet, assuming of course you’re the type of male cat who wants to settle down and raise a family,” he said. “But some of us are so popular with the ladies that it would be a crime to remove ourselves from the field, so to speak. Did you know my tour bus was once overturned by thousands of screaming school girls in Japan? Yeah. I mean, no big deal.”

It’s been confirmed Buddy does not know he’s neutered. When his human tried to carefully broach the subject, the silver tabby declared it “fake news” before checking his toy basket to confirm that he does indeed still possess all of his balls.

“You can’t fool me,” Buddy said afterward. “When it’s time to settle down and I find the right kitty, we’ll make lots of beautiful kittens and grant awesome names to my issue, at which time I’ll name a successor. You know I’m an earl in the UK, don’t you? Yeah. Queen Elizabeth herself created my peerage. No big deal.”

buddy_stretching
Above: Buddy says it would be unfair to female cats across the world if he were to settle down and take himself off the dating market.

 

It’s Official: Buddy The Philly Cat Has A Forever Home

Buddy the Philadelphia cat is home for good.

The former stray captured the hearts of people around the world when he survived a brutal attack on the front porch of a Philadelphia home, with two dogs mauling him at the urging of their teenage owners. The attack, which was captured on video, prompted worldwide outrage from animal lovers and resulted in an outpouring of help, with well-wishers flooding the Pennsylvania SPCA with more than $100,000 in donations.

Dr. Katie Venanzi was the veterinarian who performed emergency surgery on Buddy in the immediate aftermath of the attack, when his survival was doubtful.

That was back in March. Since then, Buddy’s glorious will to live carried him through those perilous first few hours and days, and he eventually healed up enough to go to a foster home.

Buddy the Philadelphia Cat
Buddy’s adjusted to the indoors, where he enjoys a perk he didn’t have during his life outside: Toys. Lots and lots of toys. Credit: Pennsylvania SPCA

Venanzi felt an emotional attachment to the little guy and offered to foster him with the hope of providing his forever home. It wasn’t clear if that would be possible: Buddy’s original family failed at making him an indoor cat because he was too accustomed to the freedom of being a stray, so they fed him and took care of him as best they could.

His brush with death seems to have tamed Buddy, who has adjusted to indoor life with Venanzi, her husband and their other cat, Teddy. Buddy enjoys “basking in the sun on a windowsill or watching the world go by from the front screen door,” the Pennsylvania SPCA’s Gillian Kocher said, and his new family “fell more and more in love” with him as the days and weeks went by.

“He has all the toys a cat could want, though his favorite seems to be an empty cardboard box for lounging,” she said. “He is loved, and he is home.”

With his story of perseverance and bravery, Buddy “has become a symbol of everything we do here,” Kocher said. The money left over from donations after all of Buddy’s veterinary needs were taken care of will be used to help other cats and dogs just like him who have suffered abuse and neglect.

You can support the Pennsylvania SPCA by buying a “Save Every Buddy” t-shirt or other gear on the group’s site.

Buddy the Philadelphia Cat
Buddy has fully recovered from the wounds he suffered in March. Credit: Pennsylvania SPCA

People On Social Media Think A Cat Is Helping Ukrainian Soldiers Dodge Russian Sniper Fire

According to the legend of the “Panther of Kharkiv,” a vengeful house cat has been using his superior feline vision to spot the telltale red laser dots from sniper scopes and warn Ukrainian soldiers they’re targets before snipers can get off a shot.

I imagine it goes something like this:

“Dude, there’s a red dot on your face.”

“You said that 42 times in the last hour.”

“Well, it’s true. Give me my treat as a reward, otherwise I might forget to inform you next time.”

“If I find out you’re lying…”

“Treat, now! Thanks…Mmmm, that’s good. Oh look, there’s another red dot on your head! Quick, take cover and give me another snack!”

Either that or kitty is just launching himself at Ukrainian foreheads, chasing the ever elusive red dot.

Of course you don’t need us to tell you this viral social media story is nonsense, do you?

ukrainian-army-cat
Mmmmm, Elmer’s!

Hundreds of thousands of people have proven themselves more credulous, and continue to share the Panther of Kharkiv posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok and other platforms despite warnings that the story isn’t true. The accompanying photo, while real, is from 2018.

“Complete garbage,” is how Liam Collins, a West Point faculty member and former defense advisor to Ukraine, put it.

Others see these stories as evidence of new frontiers for psychological operations, propaganda and counter-propaganda.

Psy-ops have long been a part of war, from Alexander the Great’s armies leaving giant-size helmets and breastplates in the ruins of conquered cities to seed tales of impossible huge — and unbeatable — Greek invaders, to a CIA-devised plan to drop condoms on Soviet territory.

“Condoms?!?” you ask. “How exactly do condoms help a war effort?”

Because they were intentionally manufactured in ludicrously huge sizes marked “Medium” and “Small” with “MADE IN USA” prominently stamped on the packaging, which would be left for the enemy to discover and, the thinking went, to kill their morale. (There are also reports that US psyops left footlong condoms on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vietnam, leading terrified Vietcong to hide their women.)

And, famously, US Army psyops drove around in up-armored Humvees during 2004’s bloody battle of Fallujah, blasting the South Park creators’ “America, F— Yeah!” from military sound systems as Marines engaged insurgent forces.

The point is to raise friendly morale, destroy enemy morale, or both, and it makes perfect sense that psyops would move into the digital domain in a war in which cyber warfare has become a major part of the hostilities.

The Panther of Kharkiv, like tall tales of wars past, collapses under scrutiny.

As Snopes correctly notes, snipers don’t actually use little red laser dots. Not only would they be counter-productive at the distances snipers work, when things like atmospheric conditions and wind speed come into play, but using lasers would alert the enemy that they’re being targeted and give away the location of the sniper(s).

The entire point of a sniper is to take out targets over long distances without giving themselves away. They’re not equipped for routine firefights, and the last thing they want is to be stuck somewhere relying on a sidearm while riflemen flank them. That’s asking to get killed.

The second absurdity is the idea that cats can be reliably trained to do anything of military value. The CIA already tried that in the 1960s with Project Acoustic Kitty, when they outfitted cats with listening devices and released them in the vicinity of Soviet targets in an attempt to eavesdrop on their conversations.

Twenty million dollars, a few years and several failed attempts later, the CIA concluded training cats as spies was “not practical.” The problem, of course, is that you can train cats all you want, and maybe the cats even have the best intentions, but then…Oh hai is that a bird? Is that a bird? Yes, it is! I’m chasing the bird! Wait, birdie! Oooh, what’s this on the ground? A bag with a half-eaten burger? How delicious! …

Cats are easily distracted, easily bored, driven to do their own thing, and not really open to suggestions when it comes to telling them where they should walk or lounge.

The Panther of Kharkiv joins The Ghost of Kyiv as a creation of social media, wish-fulfillment figures of legend for the age of information. The latter has been earning praise as a supposed ace fighter pilot who has been terrorizing Russian Su-35 pilots from the cockpit of a Soviet-era MiG-29.

A surprisingly realistic video of the legendary pilot has been making the rounds on social media, but the footage is actually from Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) World, a game made by developers so obsessive that they even model things like the effect of recoil from mounted guns on aircraft operation.

In the viral video, a Su-35 screams overhead as two Ukranians chatter in the background. A shaky camera tracks the jet until a missile fired from out of the frame blasts it to pieces. The MiG-29 follows a millisecond later, dipping its wings in a celebratory gesture as one of the observers says “Oh shit!”

When a simulator looks like this, it’s easier to understand how people could mistake out-of-context, long-range footage for the real thing:

Now if you put a cat in that footage, wearing goggles and flying wing, people would know it’s fake. On second thought, maybe they wouldn’t.