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

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?????

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…)

March 28, 2010

Animal Cruelty? What’s behind the Truth?



     What is true?

     The Almost Heaven Kennel, owned by Lehigh County resident Derbe “Skip” Eckhart, was closed down in 2008 by Pennsylvania dog Warden Kristen Donmoyer (a kennel-compliance specialist with the state Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement). He is on trial for animal cruelty and other counts following a 2008 raid.

     Donmoyer, who closed the kennel due to deplorable conditions, testified that she’d “never forget the (sickening) smell” of ammonia produced by animal urine. On cross-examination, she acknowledged that the kennel passed inspection earlier in 2008, less than two months before she closed it. She testified that there was no “notation of dogs in wretched, deplorable conditions” After Jeff Conrad, defense lawyer, stated that wardens could be arbitrary and capricious if they chose to be, Donmoyer agreed that even a “nasty old weed” on the premises could be in violation of the finer points of the Pennsylvania kennel regulations.

     Some of the scores of dogs and cats seized from Derbe ”Skip” Eckhart’s Almost Heaven kennel are already up for adoption through the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Philadelphia, and many more are expected to be available after they receive medical treatment and behavioral rehabilitation.* On June 25, 2009, Chris Ryder, a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that 211 dogs were healthy enough for adoption.**

     Larger issues are raised by this case. How was the Animal Heaven kennel initially approved, considering Eckhart had a long history of run-ins with state and local authorities, and was convicted at least twice of animal cruelty.*

      I’m not examining this case to decide whether Eckhart is guilty or innocent. I do want to examine whether it is possible (more…)

January 17, 2010

November 8, 2009

It’s Been an Animal Day





     CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS is awarding a monthly prize to the reader making the most comments at To be eligible for the prize, comment on any post. The more comments you post, the greater chance you have of being the winner.

     The first prize, to be announced on December 3, 2009, will be awarded to the reader who made the most comments on during November.

     The winner will be notified by E-mail. In the event of a tie, a name will be drawn. Winners will be listed on this page. 

     Thank you for your loyalty to my writing site.      Carolyn C. Holland


      It’s been an animal day.

      Black bear. Cat. Cat. Owl. Horse.

     While I groggily prepared my morning coffee, something caught my eye. I glanced out my window and was amazed to see a small black bear strolling through my driveway. I called my husband Monte, and we watched the bear lumber to the path leading to my daughter’s house.

     I grabbed the phone and called Sandy. She and her husband, Michael, watched the bear approach their yard, meander between her house and the neighbor’s house, return (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…)

October 1, 2009

Mystery in St. Francis Cemetery in Minersville (PA)



      Genealogy research involves exploring sites that some persons might consider macabre—or peaceful and rewarding. One of the rewards: cemetery stories.

     In 1996, I stopped in Minersville, Pennsylvania, while traveling home from New England. I was seeking information on my grandfather’s family, the Borinsky clan—and the clues were in the Catholic cemetery where they would likely to be buried.

     I finally located the Catholic cemetery. To my dismay, I learned that their cemeteries in Minersville are individualized by culture. I didn’t need to locate just the Catholic cemetery, but the (more…)

September 27, 2009

My Neighbor Elinor, AKA Pet



      When I read the news blurb about an Ohio man who slayed his neighbor “because he walked on the man’s well-kept lawn,” I thought of my former neighbor, Elinor Saylor, a.k.a “Pet.”

     When we moved from Jamestown, PA, to Connellsville, PA, my husband, Monte, did his usual thing: loaded up a U-Haul and drove it from point A to point B. When we arrived at our destination, he backed the van into the driveway. It was just wide enough for a car, so it wasn’t surprising that one wheel rode over a patch of lawn between the neighbor’s sidewalk and the street. Obviously, he left a tire tread mark on the grass.

     He exited the truck and was greeted by a tall, thin, white-haired woman. She was irate enough to kill him.

     “You’ll have to (more…)

August 31, 2009

Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven



She’s romping about animal heaven

 It looked good for Honey’s recovery when I posted Honey’s Coming Home! Our cat must recuperate. What happened a few days later was surprising. Honey’s story continues below. 

     Honey lay on the table in the examination room at Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic, Inc. I sat and observed her closely, looking to see if her heart was demonstrating the same rapid and hard rhythm I had seen during the previous evening.

     At about 8:45 a. m. Saturday morning I’d called the vet’s office to share my concerns. Following her visit to the clinic on August 20, when she’d been diagnosed with two fractures on the top of her leg near her hip bone, she’d done fine. She didn’t like being confined, but it was a minor price to pay for her recuperation time. She ate, slept, purred and accepted her medication: prednisolone.

To see pictures of Honey, click on:  &

      On Thursday, the 27th, I cut her medication in half. The morning dose went fine, but she fought the evening dose. Not just fought it. She (more…)

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