Pussy Galore

'Cats Mysterious power over humanity'

When a stray cat wandered onto the tracks of a midtown 7 train in New York City last month, the MTA halted the entire subway line until the animal was out of harm's way. At the same time, the U.S. government euthanizes millions of stray cats each year.
They're a disaster for the environment: One conservancy organization has called cats the "ecological axis of evil." American cats kill between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds each year, and they've been implicated in dozens of mammalian extinctions. (The Australian government has funded research into the most efficient methods of cat control -- yielding products like a poison-laced kangaroo sausage called "Eradicat.")  Nearly half of house cats have physically attacked their owners.
Humans' relationship with cats is rife with paradox. There are an estimated 100 million pet cats in the U.S., and their ranks are only growing. "Cat culture" flourishes online. The cat-less can get their fix at "cat cafés" opening across Asia, Europe, and North America.
In "The Lion in the Living Room: How Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World," journalist Abigail Tucker traces cats' journey from fearsome Near Eastern predator to global intruder, shedding light on how this baby-sized beast worked its way into so many homes.
Science of Us spoke with Tucker about the disturbing similarities between cats and lions, the reason cats failed to uphold the Rabbit Suppression Act of 1884, and the somewhat baffling question of why people put up with them.You write that cats are a rather unlikely house pet. Why is that?
Cats are uniquely ill-suited for domestication. When people set out to domesticate the first animals, we targeted animals that were easy to keep in confined spaces, and animals that would eat a variety of things -- think of a pig or a goat, which will eat any old swill left over from your kitchen. Cats eat only fancy food, meat that we could eat ourselves.
We also tended toward animals that had social hierarchies that we could dominate. Dogs and cattle have lead animals, and we can control them by acting the alpha dog or the lead steer. But cats are solitary animals that don't have social hierarchies. They're hard to physically control, and they don't tolerate confinement well.
Usually, you don't have to write a 200-page book to figure out why we domesticated an animal. There's a purpose for the animal, and it's really clear: We want its meat or its milk or its fur or its labor. But what on earth did we want cats around for?
As I talked to scientists, it dawned on me that we weren't necessarily the ones who were driving this relationship. House cats sidled up to our first settlements 10,000 years ago, because of big changes we started making to the environment. All of these animals crept into our settlement and were eating our trash -- animals like badgers and foxes, in addition to small wildcats. They got into this new niche and exploited it.
So how did they trick us into feeding them and taking care of them?
For a long time, it was probably just an accident. But there are reasons that cats made the transition, but we don't have badgers or foxes as pets today. One reason is that cats have a set of physical features that, for completely accidental reasons, remind us of human babies.
Cats have big round eyes located right in the middle of their faces, because they're ambush predators and need good binocular vision. They have little noses, because they don't hunt by smell. They have round faces because they have short, powerful jaws. This set of features, which is actually just an expression of the way the cat hunts, looks to us like our infants. That gave them a leg up on the competition, and made them an intriguing and charming presence, rather than a straight-up nuisance, like a raccoon.
One justification people give for keeping cats around is that they hunt rodents. I was surprised to learn that cats aren't even that good at killing rats.
Cats are magnificent hunters, and they can hunt anything from butterflies to wallabies. They can kill rats but they have no reason to, in our cities. There's plenty of garbage for everybody. Cats and rats have been photographed sharing piles of trash. Why would these animals fight and risk their lives, when they could just comfortably graze together?
People have tried it before -- letting a feral cat colony go within a certain area, with the goal of keeping rat populations down. While they might kill a few rats, the populations of rats are so big that there's no way the cats can ever repress them.
In colonial Australia, there was this act called the Rabbit Suppression Act of 1884. The Australians released hordes of house cats, because they wanted them to kill off these invasive bunny rabbits, which the British had also released. They even built them little cat houses out in the wilderness, so they would have a place to live. But the cats didn't end up killing off the rabbits.
Cats can kill a gazillion rabbits, and there are still more rabbits -- they breed like rabbits. What the cats ended up doing was killing off other more vulnerable, native animals. Cats don't do their assignments the way that dogs do.
Pet owners like to say that caring for their dog or cat confers various health benefits -- mental as well as physical. But what do we really know about how having a cat affects our health?
There have been all these studies about toxoplasmosis, the cat-borne parasite that can get into human brain tissue. Some scientists think that there's a link between this parasitic disease and mental-health problems, especially schizophrenia.
Even if your cat doesn't give you toxoplasmosis, it may not be wonderful for your mental health. There are a few troubling studies that show that having a cat can decrease your likelihood of surviving a heart attack and increase high blood pressure.
People who have cats are less likely to be outside in the world, walking their cats, meeting other people in cat parks. And cats may not be as good a substitute for human companionship as other kinds of pets. Dogs and their owners have this lovely synergy -- they gaze into each other's eyes, and both of them have this flow of oxytocin going.
That doesn't happen so much with cats. In nature, cats don't live near other cats, and they don't have a good expressive repertoire. One way they communicate is by leaving pheromones and other smells around, which humans are completely oblivious to. We're really not built to communicate with each other.
One of the fascinating things about cats is their adaptability. Even though they are fundamentally asocial animals, they've figured out how to manipulate their human hosts. Feral cats don't meow much, but in the presence of humans, cats learn how to communicate to get what they want. They purr in a manner that embeds this insistent, annoying, almost infantlike cry inside of a pleasant purr, to condition their owners to get them food.
But is it possible to know if cat owners' mental-health problems are the result of having a cat? Might someone who is already lonely or antisocial be more likely to get a cat?
I think it could be both. Somebody who is socially isolated to begin with, or unable to do the rigorous care that a dog needs, might be more likely to get a cat -- but having a cat can be isolating in and of itself. It's interesting that people persistently describe the internet as a digital cat park, where cat people can finally socialize via their pets.
I have seen a lot of articles lately about the cat-borne parasite toxoplasmosis. [One researcher blames the rise of insanity in the 19th century on the rise of toxoplasmosis-infected house cats. Another study says that people with toxoplasmosis are twice as likely to be in a car crash, and suggests that infected drivers have been distracted and worn out by persistent low-level sickness. Toxoplasmosis-infected prey animals like chimps and rats, which are usually repulsed by the urine of predators like leopards and rats, are attracted to it instead.] A lot of these stories seem a little bit hysterical. Do you think the fear around toxoplasmosis is warranted?
I do think a lot of them are overblown. Scientists agree that the parasite gets into our brain and can be very damaging to human fetuses and people with compromised immune systems, but there isn't a ton of support for the idea that cats are manipulating us via this parasite.
I think that the fact that we have glommed onto this idea, and we write so many stories about it, speaks to the fact that cats do have some kind of mysterious power over humanity. These stories about toxoplasmosis remind me of stories that used to come out six or seven hundred years ago about cats and sorcery -- that cats have dark powers we don't understand, that they're witches in disguise.
On that note, cat culture seems pretty female. Whether it's witches or "cat ladies," cats seem to always be associated with women -- what's that about?
From my experience drifting around the cat world, it does seem to be more of a female-centric passion. The simple, slightly sexist explanation is that cats' infantile-looking features prey particularly on female instincts.
There are some interesting ideas from evolutionary psychologists -- that a woman might use a cat to hone her parenting skills or, before having kids, to demonstrate her fitness as a mate. I think that people of both sexes could be guilty of that. It does seem like it's a good way for guys to meet women, to be a passionate public cat-man.Why are cats such an ecological disaster? How did they end up in isolated island environments like Australia?
Cats are very good shipboard travelers. They don't need a lot of water; they don't need a lot of vitamin C, so they don't get scurvy. They've been able to endear themselves to sailors for the past 10,000 years and sail across the oceans, which are the major barrier to mammalian dispersal. It's usually hard for mammals to get to places like Australia. They have to ride on rafts or get blown in. A lot of islands don't have any mammals living on them at all, let alone apex predators that are hypercarnivores, like cats.
With just a few tweaks, the house cat is basically the king of beasts. Cat species are very different in terms of size, but the feline blueprint -- their behaviors and the proportions of their bodies -- is really consistent across species. You let it go in any environment and it's going to be able to kill anything that's smaller than it, and even things that are a little bigger. It's like a meat-eating machine.
You tell stories of house cats clawing and scratching their human owners, especially children. Why do cats so often turn on the people who feed them?
Cats and humans haven't lived locked inside the same places, in such numbers, until the last few decades or so. We talked about the implications for our mental health, but this arrangement might not be so great for cats' mental health, either. They can get really stressed out in our houses. A lot of things that we consider normal -- everything from the volume of our voices, to our thermostats, to the way that a child is playing with a toy -- can stress cats out.
There's evidence that to prevent cat-human violence, we need to go to more extreme lengths than I'd ever thought. Experts say that you need to give an entire room of your house for the cat's exclusive use. That you should make sure the cat has multiple litter boxes, one per floor, and extra ones for extra cats. That you should never rearrange your furniture. That you should try not to wear perfume. That houseguests are freaky for your cat.  You're coming at this subject as a lifelong cat-lover. Did learning all of this -- that cats are bad for your health, bad for the environment -- change your relationship with your cat? Why would you still want to have a cat?
I lost a lot of my sentimental regard for cats -- that "oh, my cute fur-baby" response. But I find that I marvel at them more. I can appreciate the backstory, how this little animal managed to carve out a place for itself in the world, and to become a dreaded invasive species and -- culturally speaking -- one of the most powerful animals on the planet.
To me, it's about the wonder of life, and how this animal has gotten so far in the world without giving us much in return. I think that makes our relationship more pure. Humans are so good at extracting what they want from the environment. With cats, we're not necessarily holding the reins. We don't even know what we want, but we love it.  
Mom Arrested After Cops Find 4 Tigers, Cougar, Fox and Skunk Roaming Free in Her Home

A Texas woman was arrested after police discovered four tigers, a cougar, a fox and a skunk freely roaming around her home, where she was living with her 14-year-old daughter.
Trisha Meyer was taken into custody Monday after Houston police said several wild animals were discovered in her home after an investigation lasting several weeks.
According to a document from the Harris County District Attorney, an adult male tiger, three tiger cubs, a fox, a cougar and a skunk were loose in the home at the time of her arrest. There were also several monkeys in the home, "which [the] defendant stated can be vicious, and one in particular has attacked other people," it stated.
Meyer's teenage daughter, who is homeschooled, was "petting and making physical contact with the tigers," the report continued.
Meyer admitted the tigers were dangerous and could kill, but she locks up the tigers when she leaves the home, according to the report.
According to officials, Meyer had permits for the tigers, but none for the fox or skunk, which were confiscated by Texas Game Warden and released into the wild. 
"I assume since they were released, they were in decent shape," Texas Game Warden spokesman Steve Lightfoot told InsideEdition.com.
The rest of the animals, including the tigers, were also eventually confiscated by another agency.

The investigation began in September, when cops said she tried selling a kitten to a man in California for $3,000. After she received the cash, she reportedly never handed over the kitten.

She was kicked out of her Houston home after cops contacted her landlord about her exotic animals.

Officials said she fled to Las Vegas with her animals, and then to Pahrump in Nye County where cops finally tracked her down.

She is currently facing charges of endangering a child, with bail set at $10,000.

Why 2017 is the year of the cat

For a cat owner, there is little more satisfying than looking out of the window to see a dog owner trudging along behind a mutt in the driving rain, carrying a bag filled with a freshly laid turd. 
We smile smugly to ourselves, safe in the knowledge that our self-reliant pets will go and defecate in someone else’s garden, while we remain in the warm. 
No other scenario better illustrates the one immutable truth of animal ownership: cats are better than dogs. No contest. They are more convenient, they smell less, they are cleaner, cleverer and cheaper. 
“But my dog loves me unconditionally,” pooch owners will contend, stooping to pick up another parcel of excrement. They miss the point, confusing canine neediness for adoration, while failing to understand that a cat’s casual detachment is precisely what makes it so cool.
Don’t believe me? Pop along to Leatherhead in Surrey this weekend, where the feline equivalent of Crufts is currently underway. The London Cat Show – or LondonCats (all one word, because cats are cool) - is a celebration of everything feline and the highlight of the UK cat calendar. 
Here, some 2,000 people are expected to watch the dreams and aspirations of 220 cats, kittens and owners be crushed or realised by a panel of 15 international judges. And attendees aren’t just crazily dressed cat ladies with home-cut hair, but hip young urbanites following in the footsteps of celebrity fellow feline-obsessives, such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Christopher Walken. 

 The man in charge, and consequently cat-fancier-in-chief, is Steven Meserve, 42, an affable PR company director, originally from the US,but resident in London for 20 years and owner of the world’s highest ranking kitten - a doe-eyed American shorthair with the unlikely moniker, Mowgleaves Stonehenge (Mowgleaves being his breeder’s name, Stonehenge because he is British).  
“Cats have serious momentum right now,” explains Meserve, who got his first cat after answering a newspaper ad selling ‘toy leopards’ at the age of 18.
Dog owners confuse canine neediness for adoration, failing to understand that a cat’s casual detachment is precisely what makes it so coolNick Harding
Still, he concedes a slight dissonance between his day job and his passion for felines. “Presently, at work, I am organising a Vivienne Westwood fashion show,” he says. “People ask me what I’m doing at the weekend and I would like, one day, not to have to be so coy about saying I’m going to a cat show.
“We are slowly morphing into a cooler hobby,” he insists. “The crazy cat lady stigma is going. Don’t get me wrong, they are still around, but we are seeing more professional people getting interested because cats are easier to have than dogs, they require less maintenance and you can have them in towns and cities.”

VMowgleaves Stonehenge wins Best In Show at TICA Cats For Life Club in Toulouse
Cats are indeed riding the zeitgeist, largely thanks to their take-over of the internet. In the UK, we share more than 3.8 million cat pictures and videos every day - that’s double the number of selfies. The undisputed online king is ‘Grumpy Cat’ (real name: Tardar Source, from Arizona), whose earnings (some £60 million) outstrip some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Sad cat
Grumpy Cat: feline happy CREDIT: AMANDA EDWARDS
But then as Andrew Lloyd Webber has long known, cats make great content. One of the best-selling books of the last few years has been A Street Cat Named Bob, the true story of a homeless junkie who was saved by a stray cat. The book spawned spin-offs and a movie in which the human actors are incidental. Everyone watches it for the cat, played by the real-life Bob.
Last November saw the UK’s first all-night cat festival; Catnip was held in a trendy London venue, featuring DJs, cat themed cabaret and (of course) endless cat videos. Now cat cafés, which originated in Japan, are springing up across the nation. London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Newcastle (Mog on the Tyne) all host eateries where visitors specifically go to be surrounded by cats. 

The Duchess of Cambridge meets Bob the cat at the premiere for A Street Cat Named Bob in November 2016.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets Bob the cat at the premiere for A Street Cat Named Bob in November 2016. CREDIT: AFP/GETTY IMAGES/RICHARD POHLE
The latest addition will be You&Meow due to open in Bristol, this month. It was created by young businesswoman Ewa Rukat, 25, who raised part of the money for the venture through crowdfunding. Customers pay £5 for a one hour slot during which they can enjoy coffee and cake while eight rescue cats wander around. Ewa is already taking bookings and has over 60,000 likes on her Facebook page.
The happy consequence of all this fascination, say experts, has been a spike in feline adoption - a far cry from the 19th century, when cats were suffering from a major image problem. Having been venerated by the Ancient Egyptians but tortured in the Middle Ages thanks to their supposed allegiance with the devil, they were tolerated as a necessary evil by the average Victorian, who certainly wouldn’t be found snuggling up with their resident rat-catcher. 

 Let us talk the truth about Cat Farts

Most cats and kittens fart when their food is changed.  Also cheap cat food will make a cat very gassy.

 So feed us kitten food, when we are kittens, not cat food.  Feed us an entire bowl even though we don't eat it all at once. We are growing , and we need the calories.  A fat cat is a happy cat.  oh and don't forget a fresh supply of water daily.

Cats and kittens don't always act like humans. In fact, most of the time they act like cats and kittens.  This includes farting when they have gas, instead of holding it in like humans do.  Don't expect us to hold in a fart. 
Cats will bite and claw at you.  we call it predator play. If you do not train us , we will train you. There must be master between us,  If you don't want the job we will happily oblige. Whenever I bite my master, she usually bites me back, after two days of getting bitten by human teeth. I stopped biting her.  do you know why?  Because human bites hurt worst than hairballs.  In the wild, our ancestral cats had their mother to teach them what rules to live by, but in your house, you should be the mother. Our cat mothers will slap us very hard to let us know that what we have done is wrong and will not be tolerated.  Then we learn to not to do this action anymore. Why don't you give us a place where we can scratch and claw?  Every time we scratch and claw , bring us to that place, so we know this is the scratching and clawing area.  When we go to the scratching area, play with us abundantly so we know you are happy with us. this is a cat's point of view.   Act like a mother, and when we scratch or bite any part of your tender body, slap us hard and take us to the scratching area. It is not that hard to make your own scratching tree for your cat.   

Us cats are constantly trying to figure out you humans.  we will get the message, while you are out shopping why don't you buy us a cheap squeaky stuffed toy?

 we like that a lot.  This kind of toys are perfect for scratching and biting. Baby toys are the best.  

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