July 24, 2014

Cat Tales: Two



Hug for


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Cats have demonstrated many talents through time. Recently a cat’s talent was blamed for a man criminal acts —stealing a car, robbing a bank, and ramming a police car.

When the Fayette County, Pennsylvania, man was caught, he told state troopers that a “cat told him to take the car and get the money with the plastic gun.” He stole the mid-size car when the same cat “jumped up on the car and told him to steal it.” He wasn’t as successful getting the money. As he exited through the bank’s front door he dropped a plastic bag filled with cash, scattering $582 in 50s, 20s, 10s and other denominations. He next backed the car into the front of a pursuing state police vehicle, stating that the “cat was telling him to hit the cops.” He fled. Troopers took him into custody when he lost control of his car, causing the pursuing police car to hit him.

Chalk up one for a cat in control. Perhaps a cat needs to get his tongue. Maybe he would talk less.

In ancient times, a criminal’s punishment sometimes including have his tongue cut out; the tongue was fed to the King’s pets. Hence, there is some     historical truth to the phrase “cat got your tongue?”

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Oscar, a Rhode Island cat, has a different talent. He can predict when someone is going to die. Because of his gift he is portrayed as a furry grim reaper or four-legged angel of death.

Oscar was raised as a therapy cat in a nursing and rehabilitation center after being adopted from an animal shelter when he was a kitten. Patients at the center suffer severe dementia and/or are in the final stages of various illnesses.

From the time Oscar was about six months old the staff noticed that he curled up to sleep with patients who were about to die. He has accurately predicted about 50 deaths.

There is no scientific evidence to explain Oscar’s abilities, but the thought is that the cat might be responding to a pheromone or smell that humans simply don’t recognize.

Or perhaps he knows something that scientists are still studying—that a death fluorescence, observed as a glowing blue color within worms, spreads predictably from cell to cell until the entire creature is dead.

Apparently this isn’t science fiction, as the strongest colors perceived by cats are purple, green, and blue.

Whatever the root, Oscar exhibits a special gift that has been acknowledged by families who thank him, in obituaries, for providing some comfort to persons in their final hours of life.

At one time, people believed that fur and blood drawn from various parts of the cat’s anatomy cured all ailments.

Early American colonists believed that a broth made from boiling a black cat would cure tuberculosis, but no one wanted to risk the bad luck that would befall them if they killed the cat.

DSC02737E  090728Cat owners are generally fiercely protective of their feline friends, which may be why a new website, “Cats to Go,” calling for the eradication of New Zealand’s domestic cat population is gaining attention. It states that we must overcome our denial and acknowledge that we are harboring a natural born killer, a serial killer.

The premise behind the eradication of the cat population is conservation: protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s native fauna, even supporting a predator-free country. The web site claims that New Zealand’s domestic cats have helped drive nine native bird species into extinction and that the remaining 33 endangered native bird species are endangered.

The request isn’t that pet owners kill their cats, but that once these pets have died they not be replaced.

Fierce cat lovers are giving the website backlash demanding  it not deprive them of the beautiful companionship that a cat can provide individually and as a family. Scientists say eradicating cats is a too simplistic solution for revitalizing the bird population: cats kill rats, which also kill birds.

Some people who wanted to get rid of a cat but were afraid of the consequences went so far as to hire professional feline “hit men.”



Stay tuned for more cat tales in the future.



Honey’s Coming Home! Our cat must recuperate

Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven

It’s Been an Animal Day

July 22, 2014

Cat Tales: One

Filed under: Cats — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Hug for


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Monopoly fans voted. The iron is history.

But don’t throw away your iron token. Save it—I suspect will soon become a collector’s item, since it will no longer be a player’s choice to march around the playing board. The sometimes-detested home appliance received the least amount of clicks in a “save this token’ online vote held between January 9 and February 5, 2014.

The iron will be replaced by a shiny shorthaired cat wearing an “M” on her collar.

cat-monopoly-600In an earlier competition determining what token would compete with the iron, the cat token was chosen over a new guitar, a helicopter, a diamond ring, and a robot—claiming 31`% of that vote.

In the future I expect the cat to give the Scottie dog a run for the money—and, of course, out-beat the dog a good percent of the time.

Which is as it should be. Cats are “the man,” as they say.

A stand-in for Idgie

A stand-in for Idgie

The Scottie dog token could take lessons from a real life Florida dog named Idgie—the Scottie could befriend the cat token, becoming the friend that everyone, even a feline, needs.

Idgie, a two-year-old Dachshund, was found by the Seminole County Animal Services by a gated driveway, where he was protecting a 7-month-old (more…)

April 27, 2014

Adopted by a Cat Now Named King…


Hug for King’s brother


 A message to the persons who abandoned two gray cats on the streets of my community in July 2013: we want you to know that both adopted loving homes.

It was a risky act to abandon these wonderful cats. They could have gone the way of feral cats, cats without owners to boss around. But these were lucky cats.

I just wanted you to know…

IMG_1945E  131126In 2013, just before my husband Monte and I left for a one-month trip traveling up the New England coast a large regal, all gray, cat showed up on our doorstep.

“It’s been hanging around our house for a while,” said my daughter Sandy. “We can’t keep him—we already have three cats and a dog.”

“Feed him on our patio while we are gone,” I suggested. “When we come back we’ll see what his situation is.”

We returned. The cat was still at our house. It was still truly skinny, like it hadn’t eaten well for a while. Although Sandy called him Bob, my friend Lois named him King (or Queen—we couldn’t decide if it was a boy or a girl) Bony Maroni.

There was still a sign posted on the stone pillar at the back entrance to our community: Gray cat found. The cat looked like the cat that was being fed on our patio. I jotted down the phone number down and dialed it.

“I’m calling about the gray cat,” I said.

“Well,” the man said, “no one answered the ad and we decided to keep him. We took him to the vet last night.”

“Oh,” I said. “He’s down here now.”

“No, he’s right beside me.”

Oops. What was going on?

We decided (more…)

April 10, 2014

Little Dog (a cat) Adopts Us



Hug for Little Dog


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The cold, damp, wind that blew rainy slush against my face startled me. I quickly reached my kitten-filled hand down, deposited the kitten on the stoop and drew myself back in.

As I shut the door against this onslaught I saw small the white paws of the kitten, which barely reached up to the door’s screen inset. The face looking up at me had a pathetic, yearning, abandoned look in the eyes. The orange teardrop shape under the kitten’s right eye cemented the pathos.

The tiny white cat with orange and black calico markings splashed over its back, with a calico tail that looked like an afterthought, was a (more…)

December 7, 2013

Cat Photos I

Filed under: Cats,PHOTOGRAPHY — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
It must be winter...

It must be winter…



Since this is Saturday, picture sharing day, I thought I’d share three cat photos:

I like this hat...where are we going?

I like this hat…where are we going?

Caviar, you say?????

Caviar, you say?????

March 5, 2013

WP Daily Prompt 3/4/2013: A Story Written Using No “N”, Another With No “E”

WP Daily Prompt 3/4/2013:

The March 4, 2013, WordPress Daily Prompt was There are 26 letters in the English language, and we need every single one of them. Want proof? Choose a letter and write a blog post without using it. (Feeling really brave? Make it a vowel!)

Easy, I thought. All I have to do is eliminate the Q or the Z.

But that would be, in my mind, not fair, cheating. How often do I write entire posts that don’t have a Q or a Z? I must say it’s quite often.

I looked around the room and recorded the first number I saw between 1 and 26. It was 14. I went through the alphabet on my fingers and discovered number 14 was the letter “N.” How does one write a piece without using the letter N?


The kitty, a.k.a. Baby, was scared. She acted from her fear.

The day we brought her home from the shelter she scooted from the cat carrier. She hid above the sheets stored atop a shelf. If Mary or Joe, the kids who lived with her, came close to her she bared her teeth with a hiss.IMG_0318eShortly, however, she came to love Mary and Joe. She rubbed their legs while she purred as they petted her. She slept curled at their feet. She grabbed pieces of food from their thumbs.

Baby protected Mary and Joe. If they were (more…)

January 29, 2013

WP Daily Prompt: Through the Window, What Do I See?




I like the table on my back porch off the kitchen, which is surrounded by windows. The table abuts one window, making it the perfect spot for seeing the outdoors, especially in the winter chill when the snow falls gently. The snow is doing that now, adding to the blanket of snow already accumulated on several previous days during much wilder snowfalls.

The forest green of the hemlock pines offers a good contrast to the unstained purity of the country snow. Rocks, sufficiently big that their exposed sides add a grayish color to the world, are covered by about six inches of the soft powdery mix. One of the birch trees is bent over, not from this snowstorm. It never recovered from last April’s wet snowfall.

But the best thing I see out the window is a filled bird feeder surrounded by birds whose food is covered by thousands—no, probably millions—of crystalline flakes that create a four-inch cover on the feeder. They flit about the feeder, providing me with plenty of entertainment.

Hey, what’s that? A (more…)

October 30, 2011

Black Cats: Good Luck, Bad Luck




     Joe is an argument for keeping cats indoors—at least, at this spooky time of year that is filled with superstitions.

     He is a gorgeous animal. His soft, shiny black fur coat is as pleasant as his personality.

      He is my daughter’s cat.


     Black, it seems to me, is a schizophrenic color.

     On the one hand, if I want to appear elegant, powerful, mysterious, or formal—or all three—I can slip into a little black dress or suit to attain that appearance.

     On the other hand, if I want to appear evil, grieving, fearful, the use of black will send that message.

     Black, in either circumstance, presents a strong front.


     Actually, black is not (more…)

October 20, 2009

Should your cat be kept indoors or outdoors?



      A Humane Society I researched estimated that feral cats have a life expectancy of five years, while indoor, cared for, cats live as long as seventeen years.

     How long does a cared-for house cat with outside privileges live?

     In August, our about-sixteen year old cat Honey died (to read her story, click on: Honey’s Coming Home! Our cat must recuperate & Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven). She lived her life happily as an outdoor cat, as did many or our cats which lived long lives, fifteen years and more.

     Virtually all cat shelters have a non-flexible clause in their cat adoption papers that requires (more…)

July 22, 2009

The Cat with the Calico Tail



      Repeatedly I’m asked why the wooden cat sitting on my windowsill is painted so silly, having a gray and orange striped tail attached to its all-white body. A few years ago my artistic niece Debbie painted the craft item for me, using our cat as a model.

     Shenan (short for Shenandoah) joined our family in August, 1985. Her creation-day tale explains the incongruousness of her body and tail.

     You see, Shenan began on the kitten-makin’ (more…)

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