Monday, 13 August 2018

The Purrfect Job

One rescued cat on the idyllic Greek island of Syros

If only I didn't have responsibilities here in the UK because I have just found a purrfect job, looking after up to 70 cats on the idyllic Greek island of Syros.

Not only do you get paid for just fours hours work a day but you get a lovely house near the beach to live in with all the bills paid and a car. The job is at the God's Little People Cat Rescue on Syros run by Richard and Joan Bowell. He is Danish and she's a Brit.

They moved to the island seven years ago where they found kittens thrown away in garbage cans, starving cats relying on scraps and feral and injured cats that needed care.

They began taking in strays and working with local veterinarians to improve the health of the village cat colony and the overall island population. They backed a sterilisation project, funded dental operations, had sick eyes removed, and nursed motherless kittens through the night. If a cat dies, Mrs Bowell buries them and places a stone.

“Now you hardly see distressed cats on Syros,” said Mr Bowell.

The job was posted on Facebook (look here).  Ms Bowell, an artist, is looking for someone over the age of 45, who is not only capable of loving the cats, but also knows how to "trap or handle a feral or non-sociable cat" and has a good knowledge of cat psychology.




 At first the Facebook posts got a handful of likes as Mrs Bowell tried to find homes for cats on Syros. Now her job advertisement post has gone viral with thousands of people from all over the world applying for the job.

The position comes with a salary up to €600 (£536, $683) a month, with bills, housing and veterinary expenses paid, starting November 1, after a voluntary two-week transition period in October. 

 A beach on Syros




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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Reasons to Love Cats





Forget Paul Simon's 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, to celebrate International Cat Day (August 8) here are 25 Reasons To Love Your Cat!

When it comes to your feline friends, there are an endless number of reasons to love them and we will all have our own views on the subject. Here are just a few of my reasons, I'd love to hear yours.

1. They are good company.

2. They are excellent alarm clocks.

3. You can tell them all your troubles - they listen.

4. They do that "head bonk" thing.

5. They turn almost anything into a toy - your feet, a rolled piece of paper, a pebble, a pillow, any item of clothing etc etc.

6. They purr and purrs are "healing".

7. They are full of personality and every cat is different.

8. They are happy in their own company.

9. They are happy in your company.




10. They are so soft and cuddly.

11. They keep your feet warm on cold nights.

12. They don't judge you.

13. They are endlessly entertaining.

14. They are stress-busters. Sit down with a purring cat and all your troubles dissolve.

15. They twitch when they are dreaming and look adorable!

16. They have beautiful expressive eyes.




17. They turn a house into a home.

18. KITTENS! (No more needs to be said.)

19. They are supreme gymnasts.

20. They know when you need cheering up and will be extra loving.

21. They smell nice.

22. They are unpredictable so never boring.

23. They are a great distraction from work, especially when they comandeer you laptop.

24. That chirruping thing!

25. They are loving.






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Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Talk To The Paw


My Tweet the other day:  “The Man knows me well enough by now to realise that when I say, "All right, darling? Do you want some supper?" I'm talking to the cat.
Yes, I talk to my cat all the time. Admittedly, she usually looks at me as if I’m mad but sometimes we have a conversation. She chirrups and I answer. This can go on for ages until one of us gets bored and wanders off - guess which one! Hint, it's not me...
I don’t usually talk to her in her language – I don’t purr, meow or chirrup - but it seems many cat owners do.
A new study has found that although cat owners use cat-like vocalizations when interacting with their feline friend, dog owners rarely talk to their pets in yips, yaps and growls.
The report for the Journal of Applied Animal Behaviour Science is called The Socio-cognitive Relationship Between Cats and Humans – Companion Cats (Felis catus) As Their Owners See Them and has many interesting things to say about the relationship between cats and their owners. (I think they could have thought of a snappier title – but that’ just me!) 
The study looked at many aspects, including how well do people seem to understand what their cats are trying to say and how closely cats are paying attention; how well owners are emotionally matched with their cats; and what kinds of cat and human factors seem to influence how successful the friendship will be.
There have been many studies into dog/human relationships but not so many for cats. The survey found that like dogs, cats may form attachment bonds with their owners, may follow visual cues (such as their owner pointing toward an object), may follow human gaze, and may recognize and respond to auditory communications from their owner.
Personally, I know my cat can understand every word I say, it’s just that she chooses to ignore me!
Here are a few of their findings:
Women consider their cats to be more empathetic and communicative than men do, and have more intense connections with their cats. (Not in my house, my man holds long conversations with our cat.)
Cats are very good at following visual signals of humans, such as pointing with an arm or gazing in a certain direction. If a cat is the only pet the in household, owners are more likely to use pointing signals with the cat. (If I point at something my cat will studiously ignore me and look in the complete opposite direction.)
People with higher levels of education were less likely to use cat vocalizations and more likely to talk to their cat “like a human.”  (Ah, now I see why I talk to my cat – it’s because I’m well educated – not sure anyone else would agree though!)
How about you? How do you communicate with your cat?




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Thursday, 2 August 2018

A Virtual Cat Cafe



Forget about wasting your time online playing Candy Crush or Free Cell, there's now a virtual cat café you can visit.

Not everyone is within striking distance of an actual cat café but many people would love to spend time in one so maybe this is the answer.

New Zealand company Runaway Play has created a game called Furistas.  The premise is that  you adopt cats, pair them with customers, and collect baskets full of goods which allow you to level up.

There are various admin tasks that need to get done to keep the café up and running, like serving drinks, cleaning floors, and giving lonesome kitties a pat on the head. You can also decorate your café with cat-themed furniture.

There are daily tasks you can complete that earn you various types of currency to use in the game, like completing the Barista' Café Duty 15 times or pairing 50 cats up with 50 customers, which are all easily achievable goals.

"We designed the game so that it would feel good - you're supposed to feel a little bit happy and productive when you log into the game," said Runaway's creative director Emma Johansson.

"What I hope is that it can give you kind of a warm feeling and calmness while you are doing it… a lot of time and energy is spent maintaining the games' beautiful, relaxing and quietly addictive in-game mechanics."

It sounds fun to me and has had good reviews. I'm off to check it out and will let you know my verdict later. Links to the app are in the trailer below.



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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Moshow The Cat Rapper

Moshow and friend
How did a badass gangster rapper end up writing songs and making videos about his cats? Moshow The Cat rapper and artist confessed his heart wasn't really in gangsta rap. He grew up in the projects in Baltimore, Maryland, but he was never part of the gang culture.
"I just didn’t feel comfortable rapping about things I didn’t do," said Moshow, real name Dwayne Molock.  He would be talking about how he was going to to beat someone up or shoot somebody but he was never into that lifestyle. He said when he listens to those old tracks now, he cringes because they just weren’t him.
He didn’t grow up around animals and had never interacted with cats before going to college in Pennsylvania. He used to go over to a friend’s house to study. She had six cats, one a black cat called Queenie who would stare at him all night while he studied. Over the next few months Queenie got closer and closer.
"The next thing I know she's sitting on my lap, and then I fell in love with Queenie,” said Moshow.
Now that friend is his girlfriend and they live together in Portland, Oregon. They both love sphynx cats, Moshow saying it’s because they're bald, like him!
Moshow The Cat Rapper and his posse.
He's been rapping since he was a teenager but now raps about his actual real life – and a big part of that is his love of cats. He's become something of an internet sensation and now has his own Facebook account (here), Youtube channel (here), Twitter account (here) and Instagram account (here).
He has no problem with the “cat lady” stereotype. In fact he features #BeautifulCatLadyWednesday, sharing photos of women and their cats, on Instagram. Before cat-loving men feel left out, he also hosts #YesMenLoveCatsMonday.
He's been asked if he trains his cats for the photographs and videos and answers: "I don't have to do anything. I walk in the house, they jump on me, they climb, they go on my hat, I go out and walk, I rap with them in my backpack on my bike. We're just a family. This is our life."


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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

CatCon Worldwide

Moshow The Cat Rapper and a few friends

I must confess I had never heard of Moshow The Cat Rapper before reading about CatCon Worldwide.  I was so fascinated by this idea - after all, you don't really think of rappers as cat lovers - that I have done a little research on Mr Moshow. But this post is all about CatCon Worldwide so I'm saving my Moshow story for my next post.

Back to CatCon Worldwide: this is a big two-day convention featuring celebrities - both feline and human - and cat influencers, as well as cat merchandise and "cat-tivities" like face-painting (for the humans, not the cats, I'm assuming!). Seminar topics include Everything You Wanted to Know About Foster Kittens...But Were Afraid to Ask and Cats Are People Too: Beyond the Memes and Media Hype.

Stars of the feline world will be there, like the charming Lil' Bub who was discovered as the runt of a healthy feral litter in a tool shed in rural Indiana, Morris, Merlin Ragdoll, Klaus (of Oscar and Klaus fame) and Coby the Cat.  Also on hand will be Sir Thomas Trueheart, who was badly injured in an acid attack, and Waverly McTinybeans, a partially paralyzed cat.

Waverley McTinybeans

Human celebs include that gorgeous actor Ian Somerhalder, writer Keith Bowers, actress Julia Butters, author Gwen Cooper, artist Rob Reger, veterinarian and author Gary Richter, podcast producer Steven Ray Morris and many, many more. Plus, of course, Moshow the Cat Rapper.

Image result for ian somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder

The event is at the Pasadena Convention Center on August 4, 5. Details and tickets at CatCon Worldwide.

As a little taster for my next post, here's a video of a Moshow rap.






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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Lisio Makes The News

Lisio tries to get in on the act.

There you are giving an important interview to a television reporter when - what happens? -  your cat decides to get in on the act!

Dr Jerzy Targalski, a Polish historian and political scientist, was discussing the current situation in Poland, where the government has introduced controversial reforms to the country's supreme court.

He was talking to Rudy Bouma of Dutch TV station Nieuwsuur when ginger moggy Lisio jumped on to his shoulders. Dr Targalski did what any cat-lover would do - let him stay there while he carried on with the interview.

Mr Bouma shared the clip on Twitter and it has already had around 26,000 views. Here it is:


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Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Black Cats Rule



About half the cats up for adoption in shelters are black or black and white. The solid black cats find it particularly difficult to attract new owners.

This is partly because of the superstitions surrounding black cats and lately, with everything shared on social media, people believe they are difficult to photograph. Black  cats are not "selfie-friendly" in this lnstagram age.

“It’s not uncommon for many monochrome moggies to wait many weeks or months to be adopted,” says Gemma Croker from Cats Protection (UK), which takes in 200,000 cats each year.

Cats Protection has since launched an annual Black Cats’ Day to raise awareness of their plight, with similar schemes operating across the US and Canada. There is even an Instagram campaign, using the hashtag #blackcatsrule.

As for those superstitions, in Scotland black cats are said to bring prosperity and in England and Japan they are believed to be lucky. However, in much of the world they are unfairly associated with bad luck and evil omens.

If you are clever enough to open your heart to a black cat and want to take some great photographs, have a look at this article on the Mother Nature Network. There's some great advice here about showing off your black cat (or dog) to its best advantage.  



In a nutshell, think about the background. It may be counter-intuitive but if you get the light and shade right, a black background can be very effective. Focus on the eyes. Look at the light and contrast.

As for "unlucky" black cats, let me leave you with this thought. In the early 17th century the treasured black cat belonging English monarch King Charles I died. Charles, who always believed black cats were lucky,  lamented that his luck had gone. The next day he was arrested and charged with high treason, put on trial and later beheaded.







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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Cat Art Show

Divine Intervention by Rose Freymuth-Frazier, oil on linen,


ARE you looking for a purrfect picture to brighten up your kittychen?  Or do you want to splash out more for a meowsterpiece?

If you're in the vicinity of Los Angeles you have until Saturday to catch the biennial Cat Art Show 
On display are 140 works on a cat theme by more than 100 renowned artists.  Susan Michals, who organises the event, also founded CatCon. She is a former journalist and, obviously, a massive cat fan.

She said she created these feline events as a way for people to connect in the real world as opposed to the virtual one, and to share experiences with fellow cat lovers to look at a treasure trove of cat art.

Top is Superposition by Mark Ryden.
Above left is Mewcifer by Dr Paul Koudounaris and above right is Soft Kitty by Marion Peck
“Cats are beautiful creatures, both inside and out, and have been revered since the days of ancient Egypt. They can be found in museums the world over," said Susan.

“The enigmatic feline has been a source of artistic inspiration for thousands of years. One moment they can be a best friend, the next, an antagonist. They are the perfect subject matter, and works of art, all by themselves.”

Every year, Cat Art Show donates a portion of its proceeds to a cat-related organization. Works on view are for sale and a percentage of sales will benefit the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, founded by actors and philanthropists Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. Kitten Rescue LA is the beneficiary of the Closing Night event titled The Kitty Cuddle Party, with adoptable kittens onsite, on Saturday, June 23.

Prices of the works start from $300 to $150,000. For more information on available works, please contact: team@catartshow.com

Admission is $5 with free admission for children under five years, with the exception of Wednesday June 20 when admission is free for all. 





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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Ed Sheeran At The Cat Cafe



Realistic - but this is not the real Ed Sheeran!


A waxwork figure of megastar singer and cat lover Ed Sheeran has been unveiled at London's first cat cafe.

The figure, made by the famous London waxwork museum Madame Tussauds, is on display at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in east London before it moves to Madame Tussauds next week.

When Sheeran announced his engagement to Cherry Seaborn earlier this year, he said: “Got myself a fiance just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx” Those two cats are called Dorito and Calippo.

Claire Treacy, of Madame Tussauds, said: “We’ve been getting requests for a long time, literally one a week, saying, ‘When are you going to add Ed?’. "

The figure will be on display at Madame Tussauds London from June 19.

Below is a video of Ed at a Tokyo cat cafe. It's a long video and the cats section begins at around 3.35 mins.







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