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Mews and Nips: Family Practice Clinic Offers Therapy Cats

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When Dr. William Powers, a family practitioner in Farmington Hills, MI, told friends that he was going to open a clinic that would feature his two loves, cats and video games, they told him he would fail. Instead, his practice is thriving. The therapy cats are all exotic hybrids (early generation Bengals and Savannah cats) who lack the Fel D1 gene in their saliva, so even people with severe cat allergies are unaffected by them. For more about Dr. Powers’ practice, wonderful photos and the touching back story, please visit The Bored Panda.

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Mews and Nips: Billy Joel Themed Catification is the Cat’s Meow

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Photo courtesy of Rob Rich/ SocietyAllure.com via Square Paws

We’re big fans of Mario Arbore and the amazing cat furniture he builds under his company name Square Paws. So it’s not surprise that Mario stepped up to the challenge when he was asked to create two very special cat rooms for Bianca’s Furry Friends Feline Adoption Center at North Shore Animal League America in Port Washington, New York. The new cat adoption center project was spearheaded by Beth and Howard Stern, who asked Mario to create two cat rooms in honor of Billy Joel, as a thank you for his support of the new facility. The results are stunning! Please read “Two Odes to Billy Joel” for details and gorgeous photos of the two rooms.

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Mews and Nips: Why Cats Eat Grass

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Eating grass and plants is a relatively common behavior for cats, but theories as to why they do this vary widely. After interviewing more than 1,000 cat parents, researchers at UC Davis suggested that eating plants is instinctual and comes with an evolutionary benefit to felines. Their theory, as reported at the annual convention of the International Society for Applied Ethology in Bergen, Norway, is that eating grass helps animals expel intestinal parasites by increasing muscle activity in the digestive tract. For more about the study, visit Science Magazine.

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Mews and Nips: Indiana City Allows You to Pay Your Parking Ticket by Donating Cat Food to a Shelter

Having to pay a parking ticket in Muncie, Indiana won’t be quite as painful as it used to be. The Muncie police department, in collaboration with Muncie Animal Care and Services, allows traffic violators to pay off fines by donating cat food to the shelter. Not surprisingly, the response from the community has been enthusiastic. For more about this wonderful program, visit Shared.com.

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Mews and Nips: AI Powered Cat Door Prevents Cat From Bringing Presents Inside

If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, you’ve probably received the occasional not so welcome present inside your home. Ben Hamm, a senior product manager at Amazon, developed a cat flap that will block his cat Metric from bringing his prey inside the house. Hamm fed 23,000 images of Metric to Amazon’s machine learning service SageMaker. If the tool detected Metric approaching with prey in his mouth, the door would lock. For more about this AI powered cat door, visit Gizomodo.

Allegra and Ruby are indoor cats. Allegra brings me her special mouse every day, and I love that she does this. As much as I wouldn’t want “live” presents in my house, I’d worry about offending the gift giving kitty!

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Mews and Nips: Cats Fall in Love After Seeing Each Other Through Windows

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It all started with a photo posted by Twitter user “Mac” of her cat Simon gazing adoringly through a window at another cat in a neighboring building. “My cat Simon is in love with my neighbor’s cat,” tweeted Mac. What started as a single tweet turned into an epic romance better than any romantic movie you’ve ever seen. Was Simon’s crush returned by the neighbor cat? Visit boredpanda to find out.

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Mews and Nips: The Science Behind Why Some Cats Wear Socks

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Did you know there is a scientific explanation behind the white “socks” that some cats seem to wear? It’s due to a condition called piebaldism. This condition is caused by a mutation in the KIT gene, which is responsible for distributing melanocytes, the cells that “program” pigment throughout a cat’s body. Genetics tends to make my head explode, so rather than trying to explain this further, I’m going to send you to our friends Cole and Marmalade’s blog for a detailed explanation.

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Mews and Nips: Tales of New York City’s Historic Cats

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The nineteenth century was a rough time to be a stray cat in New York City, but a few lucky ones were rescued. In The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in New York, Peggy Gavan tells stories of firefighters, cops, athletes and politicians and the cats they welcomed into her hearts and homes. From Jerry Fox, a cat who patrolled Brooklyn and was credited with preventing crimes and alerting people to a fire, to Homicide, a cat who became the chief mouser at lower Manhattan’s police headquarters in 1934, to Bambino, who took up residence in Mark Twain’s New York home in 1904, these stories are sure to delight cat lovers. For a preview of the book, visit the New York Post.

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Mews and Nips: Washington, DC Gets Its First Cat Convention

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It’s about time! On April 27, Washington, DC is going to the cats. MeowDC, the city’s first cat convention, is designed for everyone from the devoted cat lover to the fly-by feline fan. Featuring talks about everything from community cats to cat behavior, adorable cats and kittens looking for their forever home, and lots and lots of cat-themed shopping, there’s something for everyone at MeowDC. All proceeds will benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. Each month, HRA helps nearly 400 local homeless animals get adopted and 565 animals get spayed or neutered. For more information and to get your tickets, visit MeowDC.org.

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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: Could Choupette Lagerfeld Inherit a Fortune?

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When the news broke about Karl Lagerfeld’s death on Tuesday, my first thought was of Choupette, his beloved Birman cat. Choupette was not only the apple of her daddy’s eye, she was a star in her own right with a sizable social media following. She wrote a sweet blog post about her dad’s passing on her website. It is quite possible that Choupette may inherit part of Lagerfeld’s vast fortune estimated at $200 million. According to the Daily Star, Choupette was living a life of luxury – with her own personal bodyguard, multiple maids and an iPad. Lagerfeld had assured, long before his death, he would make sure Choquette would be able to go on living in the style she was accustomed to and once told a French TV station that “Choupette is a rich girl. She has her own fortune”, hinting at the fact she is written into his will.Continue Reading

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