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Mews and Nips: Rest in Peace, Texas Wilde

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We were sad to hear that Texas, one of the cats who appeared in the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, passed away earlier this week. Charlotte Wilde, who owns a London-based animal agency which supplies professionally trained animals to top photographers and TV and film production companies, rescued Texas in 2006. “A friend called and said ‘oh, can you pick up this cat?’” said Charlotte with a wry laugh. “He’s a super super silly little cat, and very clever.” Since then, he’s appeared in TV series, commercials, and, of course, the super successful Bohemian Rhapsody. You can see Texas in one of the scenes in Freddie’s apartment.

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Mews and Nips: Black Cat Appreciation Day

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Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day. This “holiday” was created to help dispel some of the myths and ridiculous prejudices that surround these beautiful cats. If you share your life with one or more of these black beauties, every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day, because you already know just how special they are. We previously posted an article about some of the lore that surrounds black cats. For example, did you know that In Japan, young women are encouraged to own a black cat to attract romance. I suppose attracting a guy who loves black cats is a pretty good start to a relationship! Click here for more fun facts about black cats.

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Mews and Nips: Inside the Life of a Feline Rat Hunter in Washington, DC

Washington, D.C. has a well-known rat problem, and despite efforts to control the city’s rat population that even included trying birth control on rats, the rodent infestation is growing. For the last few years, the Humane Rescue Alliance has been spearheading a creative way to fight the rat kings and queens of the District of Columbia: pairing local businesses and communities with feral, unsocialized cats to hunt and kill their natural prey. First developed in 2017, the HRA’s Blue Collar Cats program takes stray, feral cats that end up in its care, spays and neuters them, and then matches them to businesses or homes to catch and deter unwanted rodents. For more about the program, please visit NBC4 Washington. And while I realize that the topic of this story practically begs for political commentary, please remember that the Conscious Cat is a politics-free zone and all comments referencing politics will be deleted.

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Mews and Nips: Why Do Cats Wiggle Their Butts Before Pouncing

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We’ve all seen it: our cats get ready to pounce on a toy, and just before they take off, they crouch and wiggle their butt a little. While there hasn’t been any formal research into the origins of this common behavior, a professor of evolutionary biomechanics at the Royal Veterinary College in London has some theories. One is that it might provide an aerobic warm up of sorts for the cat. For more about what might cause this behavior, visit LiveScience.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: on Monday, we celebrated Memorial Day, on Tuesday, we featured Bootsie’s Bunk Bed and Play Station, on Wednesday, Dr. Marci Koski answered behavior questions, and on Friday, we featured a colony of feral cats outside a famous music venue. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win a Cat Pocket Tote Bag from Triple T Studios!Continue Reading

Mews and Nips: The Cat in Pet Sematary is Played by Five Shelter Cats

I will most definitely not be going to see the remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. I’m not a fan of horror movies, and this one looks particularly scary (even Stephen King once mentioned that of all the books he wrote, the only one that really scared him was this one!)  However, I loved hearing that Church the cat was played by five different shelter cats, and that the cats were trained using a holistic approach with positive reinforcement. “I don’t want them in cages,” animal trainer Melissa Millett told Inverse. “I want them to live like cats that happen to have a job.” Read the full story and see some great photos, on Inverse.com.

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Mews and Nips: Kitten Rescued from Florida Beach is Looking for Her Forever Home

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Our friend Dorian Wagner, who you may know as the owner of Cat Lady Box, has been involved in cat rescue for decades. I’ve always admired her big heart when it comes to helping cats who can’t help themselves. She once again came through for a grey kitten, now named Purradise Bleu, rescued from a South Florida beach. She first noticed the kitten under the stairs of a restaurant. Bleu was friendly and played with Dorian, but wouldn’t let herself be caught. It took eight days and two traps, but Dorian and a friend were finally able to trap the little kitten. Bleu hung out in Dorian’s bathroom for a few hours before her foster mom could pick her up, and she turned out to be a total lovebug. Bleu is available for adoption in South Florida through Good Karma Pet Rescue. For more about this wonderful rescue story, read Dorian’s account on Facebook.

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Mews and Nips: Is Your Cat Right or Left-Pawed?

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A recent study at the University of Belfast found that female cats are much more likely to use their right paw than males. The 44 cats in the study were observed by their guardians, who kept track of which paw their cats favored for every day tasks like walking up and down the stairs and batting at toys. The majority of cats showed a paw preference when reaching for food (73%), stepping down (70%) and stepping over (66%,) and their preference for right and left was consistent for the majority of the tasks. For more about the study and the results, visit the Queens University of Belfast website.

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Mews and Nips: Walter Chandoha Took 90,000 Photos of Cats Over the Course of His Long Life

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Walter Chandoha, a photographer who specialized in cats, died at the age of 98 earlier this month. Inspired by an abandoned kitten he found shivering in the snow in 1949, Chandoha took some 90,000 photos over the course of his career, the majority of them of cats, something that is even more remarkable since nearly all of his photos were taken before cats became internet stars. Visit the New York Times for a wonderful feature about this talented cat lover. His photos are featured in one of his many books, Walter Chandoha: The Cat Photographer (affiliate link*.) A retrospective of his cat photography will be published later this year.

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