CATS: Our PURRfect Friends

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00Tuesday, June 29, 2010 8:31 AM
Opened by Bood
Here is a new thread suggested by Bood and one which I'm sure the Holy Father will love to have a look at. Come on, Monsignor Gaenswein, do look at it and tell Papa!!!!!!
00Tuesday, June 29, 2010 9:08 AM

Here's a good one to start with! Thanks to Caterina, who posted it on our sister forum! Some of you may not have seen it yet and, of course, it's absolutely authentic!
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00Tuesday, June 29, 2010 6:04 PM
Gabriella! Thank you so much for all these unique photos of Chico. He's a big cat and he's also somewhat squinty-eyed! Funny how they love cardboard boxes, even if not actually provided as a bed. My Sixpence always has fun with empty boxes and I have to keep them for a long time until she gets fed up with them. I still have the box that my new computer tower came in, because she loves turning it over on its side and then getting into it and curling up for a while. I've got loads of pics of Sixpence from before I had a digital camera, so I'll have to start scanning.
Thanks again, Gabriella!
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00Tuesday, June 29, 2010 6:21 PM
Thanks Mary!
Thanks Mary for starting up this thread for me. I figured that we could use this thread to talk about Chico, our own cats, cute articles about cats, videos etc... [SM=x40799] [SM=x40799]

Gabriella wow!! I didn't realize how big Chico was! I love his cute funny face at the end. Hehehe [SM=g27828] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824]

00Tuesday, June 29, 2010 6:26 PM
Oscar the Bionic Cat

Oscar the "bionic" cat has regained a spring in his step following ground-breaking surgery to fit him with a pair of prosthetic paws.
The two-and-a-half-year-old lost eight of his nine lives after his rear paws were amputated by a combine harvester as he basked in the sunshine.
Thanks to bioengineering work by Surrey-based neuro-orthopaedic surgeon Noel Fitzpatrick, he has gained new feet in a world-first operation.
The revolutionary design of the feet uses custom-made implants to "peg" the ankle to the foot and mimics the way in which deer antler bone grows through skin.
It has been described as a case of science copying the natural world.
Oscar's road to recovery began after his local vet from St Saviour in Jersey referred his owners, Kate and Mike Nolan, to Fitzpatrick Referrals in Eashing, near Godalming.
Following his accident last October, Oscar's life-threatening injuries had to be treated first and a course of antibiotics administered before surgery could be contemplated.
Mrs Nolan said: "We had to do a lot of soul-searching and our main concern has always been whether this operation would be in Oscar's best interests and would give him a better quality of life."
Mr Nolan said: "Through our background reading, we were aware that this sort of procedure is cutting-edge and also has an impact on human medicine, so knowledge about the way that Oscar's been treated can be carried over to human treatment going forward."
Working with a team from University College London, Irishman Dr Fitzpatrick pioneered the use of the weight-bearing prosthetic implants, combining engineering mechanics with biology.
In Oscar's case, the procedure was complicated by the fact that his feet were severed at the junction between the ankle bones and the arch of the foot.
In a three-hour operation, the veterinary surgical team inserted the pegs by drilling into one of Oscar's ankle bones in each of the back legs.
The team said it was an extremely delicate feat, which could have fractured the ankle joint before the procedure had even begun and had to be done twice.
The artificial implants, which are attached to the bone at the amputation site, were coated with hydroxyapatite, which encourages bone cells to grow onto the metal.
The skin then grows over a special "umbrella" at the end of the peg to form a seal against bacteria and potentially-fatal infections.
The peg protrudes through the bone and skin, allowing the custom-built artificial paws to then be securely attached.
Following surgery last November, the focus turned to the rehabilitation process and helping Oscar learn to walk again.
For five weeks external scaffolding was anchored to the tibia to protect the new implants until the pegs integrated into the bone and the skin grew onto the peg.
Oscar was trying to stand within a day of the operation. Despite some problems with infection, in less than four months he could stand and bear weight equally on all four limbs.
He has since been fitted with a series of prototype new paws to ensure the best possible long-term fit - and is back to his normal happy self.
Dr Fitzpatrick said: "The real revolution with Oscar is because we have put a piece of metal and flange into which skin grows into an extremely tight bone, with very narrow tolerances in the region of nanometres, rather than millimetres.
"We have then successfully managed to get the bone and skin to grow into the implant and we have developed an exoprosthesis that allows this implant to work as a see-saw on the bottom of an animal's limbs to give him effectively normal gait.
"Oscar can now run and jump about as cats should do."
Dr Fitzpatrick's bioengineering work has earned him plaudits across the world and seen him fit an artificial knee to a cat named Missy who was mown down by a hit-and-run driver.
Missy became the first cat in the world to have a replacement knee fitted after she was left with a hind leg broken in eight places.
The skin and tendons at the back of one foot had died due to crushing of the blood supply and the tissue had fallen off, leaving raw bone exposed.
In order to re-grow the tissue and cover the bone, a collagen mesh made out of pig's bladder was used.
The broken bones were then placed in a scaffolding of pins until they mended.
Dr Fitzpatrick then made a knee replacement using hinged stainless steel. In 2008, he opened a £10 million facility at Eashing aiming to transform the face of modern veterinary surgery.
It is said to offer a unique mix of leading edge diagnostics and surgery with rehabilitation including physiotherapy and hydrotherapy techniques.
The work of Dr Fitzpatrick, who was born in Mountmellick in Co. Laois, will feature as part of a six-part BBC One documentary series, The Bionic Vet, starting later this month.
00Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:10 AM
More cute Chico pics!!
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00Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:06 AM
Love this thread
Here we go again ...

Lost the message again.

Just sharing that my Four Socks was found calmly sitting in the sink when I was checking out why it was tooooo quiet one night!

Precious cats ...
00Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:30 PM

00Wednesday, June 30, 2010 8:23 PM
Re: Love this thread
PapaBear84, 6/30/2010 10:06 AM:

Just sharing that my Four Socks was found calmly sitting in the sink when I was checking out why it was tooooo quiet one night!

Precious cats ...

Sitting in the sink...Too cute!! [SM=g27821] [SM=g27821]
What does your kitty look like? Mau-Mule likes to sleep inside pillowcases & brown paper bags. Does anyone else's kitty do that too?
I'll have to post some pics of Mau-Mule.

00Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:45 PM
Sixpence sleeps either in or on my bed. Oh horror of horrors, some non-animal lovers would exclaim! But why not? She's clean and soft and furry.......
00Thursday, July 1, 2010 5:47 AM
My Four Socks and Little Socks
Let's try again ...

Guess what? If I don't click Use Editor ... the text takes the first time!

Anyway, my two kitties look like each other and like their mother. They are black with four white paws and a streak of white on their underside. Your can tell one from another by 1) size/Four Socks, the male, is twice the size of Little Socks and 2) Little Socks has a notch on her right ear because we brought her in to the ASPCA neuter clinic as a feral cat (cheaper price) and they notch the ears of feral cats because lots of people trap ferals and bring them in for neutering. By the time we got around to Four Socks, he was so friendly we thought the ASPCA wouldn't believe he was feral so we brought him in as a "pet."

Little Socks likes to nap in the empty cabinet above the refrigerator and peek out to keep an eye on things. Four Socks likes to sleep under one of the easy chairs by the sliding glass on my lanai; peeks out between the drapes to see in anyone comes in.

When it's lights out, both come to the bedroom and either sleeps in the chair by my PC or on my bed, but never two in the same spot.

Anyone else?
00Friday, July 2, 2010 12:26 AM

In the morning when I get up my place is soon taken by a certain person! Even if I wanted to get back into bed I wouldn't dream of moving her.
00Friday, July 2, 2010 9:23 PM
Beautiful kitties!!
Papabear, does Four Socks & Little Socks have white whiskers? I have a weak spot for black & white kitties with white whiskers. [SM=g27821] Do you have any pics of them that you can post? They sound adorable!!

Mary, Sixpence is such a cutie!! [SM=g27836] I love her coat, it's so beautiful. How old is she? Mau-Mule loves to sleep on our beds too. I shouldn't let her but there's no stopping her! She does what she wants. Since I have allergies & asthma, I have to use one of those sticky lint rollers to clean off the beds. I also love your pillow case it's so appropriate!! [SM=g27828] I wonder if Papa lets any of the kitties sleep on his bed. [SM=x40792] [SM=x40792] [SM=x40792]

Here are some pics of Mau-Mule:

She saw some birds on the tree and tried to pounce. LOL [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824]

00Sunday, July 4, 2010 5:30 PM

Here is Milly, the cat of the Major Seminary of Bressanone,
who accompanied the Pope during his 2008 summer vacation.

00Monday, July 5, 2010 3:00 AM
White Whiskers Indeed ...
I wish I COULD post photos but alas ... and yes, both Four Socks and Little Socks DO have white whiskers. Loved the photo of Mau-Mule ... looks just like one of the strays we named Blackie my friend and I found a loving home for. He was so precious ... loved to jump on my lap and meowed repeatedly when called to eat or come in my office. I cried when his new owner came to take him home. I still miss him.

It's July 4 today and so some kids are setting off fireworks so Little Socks has found a hiding place with the noise.

00Tuesday, July 6, 2010 12:56 PM

00Tuesday, July 6, 2010 6:11 PM
Ha! I knew it! I had a gut feeling that the Sock cats had white whiskers. [SM=g27822] [SM=g27822] [SM=g27828] [SM=g27828] [SM=g27828] [SM=g27828] That is so adorable! [SM=x40800] [SM=x40800] [SM=x40800]

Milly is a cutie Gabriella!! In the second picture you posted of her (The close up of her looking forward) She has some really big cheeks! [SM=g27831] [SM=g27831]

00Wednesday, July 7, 2010 3:46 PM

I have seen Milly closely in Brixen, while she walking in front
of the seminar: she is really pretty!!!
00Wednesday, July 7, 2010 8:34 PM
Grim rea-purr: The cat that can predict death by VICTORIA MOORE

The footsteps down the corridor of the Steere House Nursing And Rehabilitation Centre are light but purposeful as Oscar makes his way towards the end of the hallway and stops outside room 310.

The door is pulled firmly shut and, untroubled, he sits down outside it, and waits some 25 minutes until a nurse's aide appears, her arms full of dirty linen.

"Ah, Oscar," she smiles, and with a nod, almost as if she were expecting him, allows him to pass into the room where a frail elderly lady, her body ravaged by cancer, is sleeping fitfully. Oscar sniffs ostentatiously around, resists the blandishments of the relatives gathered round the bedside, struts out and continues on his round. For the lady in room 310, the time has not yet come.

Oscar was raised in the nursing home
The patient in the next room into which Oscar pokes his grey-and-white head is not so lucky. This time, Oscar weighs the situation carefully, then leaps on to the bed and curls up beside the woman lying in it.

A few moments later he is spotted, snuggled up there, by a passing nurse who immediately raises the alarm, not kick-starting a security alert to rid the ward of an unwanted intruder but a frenetic flurry of activity as medical records are fetched, a priest is called, and relatives are alerted to the likelihood of the patient's imminent demise.

Because Oscar, as everyone in this nursing home is agreed, has special powers - more even than the doctors and palliative care specialists who come to tend to the terminally ill here.
For like a harbinger of bad news, Oscar is able to discern the exact moment at which the angel of death comes to stand at their bedside. It is an unusual skill, certainly. All the more so because Oscar is just a cat.

The fluffy, two-year-old, grey and white brindled pet was adopted by the dementia unit at the home in Rhode Island and named by its residents after a famous American hot dog brand.

Oscar curls up next to patients who have just a few hours to live
Yet his skills of divination are beyond question - and have even been the subject of an article in as august a publication as the New England Journal Of Medicine. To date he has predicted the deaths of 25 patients, and done so with such accuracy that he has completely won the trust of even the initially incredulous medical staff.
"This cat really seems to know when patients are about to die," says Dr David Dosa, a geriatrician at Rhode Island hospital who also attends patients at Steere House.

"We started to see something was happening about 18 months ago and at first I think we were all very sceptical. But it's not an unusual occurrence for patients to die here, so we've had plenty of opportunities to witness and observe the phenomenon."

The first signals come as early as two days beforehand, when Oscar leaves his usual favourite solitary spots under a doctor's desk or sunbathing in the windows of an empty office and begins doing his rounds, padding round the corridors of the unit, visiting patients but never lingering.

"When somebody's not ready to die, he leaves," says Dr Dosa. "He doesn't settle in their room until the day they die. Sometimes it can be as much as four hours beforehand, but he's universally there, curled up on their bed, two hours before they take their last breath."
Oscar was just a kitten, a small, stray bundle of fur, when he arrived at the home in July 2005, and since then he has not failed to spot a single death. On occasions, his skills have been sorely tested, for example when a visiting palliative care expert, Dr Joan Teno of Brown University, noticed that a patient seemed to be running out of time.

"I think it was around the 13th patient," she says. "Their breathing had changed, and their extremities were cooling. We'd already noticed Oscar seemed to have form in predicting when someone was about to die so I asked if he'd been in. Mary the nurse said, 'No' and I said, 'Oh, let's put him in there and let him keep his streak going.'
"So we did. Oscar went in, sniffed around - and promptly left the room. The next morning I asked how things had gone overnight and was told the patient had died at 2.30am - about ten hours after I'd predicted. And Oscar had gone back into the room, and stayed there, two hours beforehand. So he's obviously a better prognosticator than I am."

As far as those who work there are aware, there is only one death at which Oscar has not been present - and that wasn't because he didn't notice it, but because relatives of the patient asked for him to be removed from the room.

Oscar has predicted 25 cases

Standing outside, Oscar began such a noisy commotion of frenzied caterwauling, miaowing and scratching at the door that he had to be removed from the unit. Clearly, he wanted to be in the room and was not happy about being told he had to stay away. His insistence was all the more peculiar because although Oscar purrs contentedly as he nestles close to those who have just hours to live, he normally prefers to stay aloof from human company.

As Dosa puts it, "Oscar is not usually particularly friendly. He actually doesn't like spending time with either patients or staff. Sure, you can usually bribe him with some food if you want to, but that's about it."

So what draws him so strongly towards those who are nearing the very end of their lives?

"That's actually the most puzzling part of it," observes Daniel Mills, a specialist in veterinary behavioural medicine at Lincoln University. He believes the idea that a cat, or indeed another animal, might be able to intuitively sense the proximity of death is not nearly as fanciful as it seems.

"Animals are particularly sensitive to a whole range of cues of which we are not always aware and can pick up on minute chemical changes," he explains. "For example, you can train a dog to predict an epilepsy fit in a patient before they even sense it themselves, or even detect cancer, so it seems reasonable to suppose you might be able to train a cat to detect that a person was terminally ill, particularly as they have such a good sense of smell.

"The challenge is that it's hard to see what the cat might get out of it. After all, the person they've gone to sit with dies - so why should it engage in that sort of behaviour?"

He postulates that one 'admittedly far-fetched' reason might be that metabolism changes shortly before a person dies, "and often the body makes a last-ditch surge. So perhaps they get a little warmer, and the cat seeks them out because of that. It would be very interesting, macabre though it sounds, to see video footage of this happening, to get a better insight."

Others have also speculated that the cat might be responding to physical signals - subtle changes in smells and hormones - not fully understood by humans but detectable to the whiskery feline nose.
Laurie Cabot, the 'official witch' of Salem, Massachusetts, where the infamous 17th century witchcraft trials were held, has another theory.
In her view, Oscar is acting as a 'familiar' - the term witches of old used to refer to the cats who were their constant companions - which means that he is in psychic communication with the patients he visits.

"He knows they are going to die because he is picking up on their brainwaves," says Cabot, a descendant of a family that arrived in America on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims. "Science has found that the brainwaves of cats never go into Beta mode, they are always in Alpha. And it is in the Alpha range that all psychic things happen.
"This little cat Oscar knows all the patients in the unit and he is trying to help them, just like the cats that I've always kept will curl up on my chest and try to heal me if I feel upset or am ill. In this case, though, Oscar is not trying to heal, he is clearly trying to help these people walk over into the other world."

Cabot might find further support for her theory in the fact that Oscar does not leave the patient after they have died, preferring to stay with the body until the undertaker arrives. Then those who have cared for the patient escort the corpse out in a procession to honour the patient. Oscar, because he lives in the locked dementia unit, is not allowed off the premises, but he always walks with the funereal procession to the door, and watches as it leaves.

Dr Teno shares Cabot's idea that Oscar is a compassionate cat, but she prefers a slightly more prosaic explanation for the way he behaves.

"He's not a bad omen," she says, "He comforts the dying patients - and what's striking is that, in a centre that offers a real gold-standard in end-of-life treatment, Oscar seems to be mimicking the behaviour of those who work there. He makes the room feel like more of a homely setting, and has become part of the soothing ritual."
Certanly, some relatives of those who have had the 'Oscar experience', feel his contribution was positive. "Oscar's presence gave a sense of completion and contentment," says Jack McCullough of East Providence, whose mother and aunt both died at Steere.

"What could be more peaceful than a purring cat? And what sound more beautiful to fill one's ears when leaving life? He brought a special serenity to the room."

Not everyone might agree; but although Oscar is the only one of the home's six cats to behave in this way, he might not be unique.
Since his story began to hit the American papers, his nursing home has received dozens of e-mails and letters from people all over the world who say they know a cat that appears to have similar powers.
And as long as Oscar continues to predict, rather than to curse, there can surely be no harm in it.

00Wednesday, July 7, 2010 10:51 PM
Oscar, Mau-Mule and Millie - all so beautiful! But then have you ever seen an ugly cat? I haven't. I'm not keen on those pedigrees without any fur- Devon Rex is one variety. I think it's sad that people have bred them to be like that and I prefer cats that are JUST CATS!!!!!! I suspect our Holy Father does as well.
00Thursday, July 8, 2010 11:14 PM
I totally agree Mary about the kitties. I'm not too fond of the hairless cats. I'm also not too fond of the cats with the flat faces either. [SM=g27829]

00Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:49 AM
Mean Cat!!!
Poor kitty, I've never seen one this mad. [SM=g27831] [SM=g27831] [SM=g27831] [SM=g27831]

He is a real cutie though [SM=x40800]

00Thursday, July 15, 2010 1:03 PM
I was troubled by this video. I also had to turn the sound down in case it spooked Sixpence! This cat is obviously in a rescue cattery looking for a home, but there must be a terrible history, something that has made the poor cat angry and not trusting. Poor soul! The ill treatment of animals is one of several things about people that make me angry. This is why I've pledged that I'll always have a cat, until I'm really too old to manage, and make sure the cat has a secure, happy home. I can only cope with or afford one, but it's a promise I've made.
Thanks for showing us this video, Bood.
00Thursday, July 15, 2010 6:05 PM

I was troubled by this video. I also had to turn the sound down in case it spooked Sixpence! This cat is obviously in a rescue cattery looking for a home, but there must be a terrible history, something that has made the poor cat angry and not trusting. Poor soul! The ill treatment of animals is one of several things about people that make me angry. This is why I've pledged that I'll always have a cat, until I'm really too old to manage, and make sure the cat has a secure, happy home. I can only cope with or afford one, but it's a promise I've made.
Thanks for showing us this video, Bood.

I had to put the sound down too, it made Maumule a bit friskey. I was wondering about where the cat came from too. He seems to be wearing a collar with a tag, and he looks healthy, but I can't be sure though.
I was looking online to see if anyone knew his story or if they knew what had happened to him, but it doesn't seem like anyone knows. He's a bit of a celebrity on the internet and has his own Facebook page.

I would love to have another cat, but I don't think that my DH is too keen on the idea. I was looking online yesterday and saw some cute Tortise shell kittens up for adoption. They also had a very beautiful older Russian Blue. God Bless you Mary for caring about our poor neglected animal friends. [SM=x40800]

00Friday, July 16, 2010 6:04 AM
Poor kitty. I've seen cats that refuse to let humans get close but it's usually because they've been treated meanly.

My two kitties sometimes can be a handful, but only when they do their "Daytona 500" running and wrestling and jumping around the furniture. They have their distinct personalities and, being one male and one female, you can imagine .... At night, they settle down to only ONE on my bed and the other on the comfy chair by my PC. They used to curl up together, but that was when I finally came to my old office from hospital and recovery ... they hadn't seen me for so long, they had to curl up together for warmth and protection.

My god daughter will be going to Arizona for what I thought was one month to teach health classes (higher $) so I volunteered to feed her THREE cats and clean the litter box because she couldn't get someone she trusted and couldn't afford to put them in kennels ... then, I found that she'll be gone from July 29 and returning home Nov 3!

Her home is about a 40 min drive from mine and at least the cats know me so .....

St Francis, pray for me ... esp that neither they nor I get sick!

00Friday, July 16, 2010 6:26 AM

Oh, my gosh, PapaBear!

God help you. [SM=g27819]

00Friday, July 16, 2010 7:55 PM
Papabear, 5 cats to look after? WOW!! [SM=g27827] [SM=g27827]

Do you know what kind of kitty litter you're gonna use? I don't think the brand I'm using right now is very good. (Tidy Cat) And I only have one kitty!!

00Friday, July 16, 2010 8:12 PM
PapaBear, you are a saint to offer to do all this. I know the cats will be grateful.
Your two are having their "mad half hours" and they are only kittens. Sixpence still has her mad few minutes every day, usually in the evening and still jumps on to the wardrobe via my back! That hurts!

Bood, I use "Thomas" cat litter. It's fuller's earth, but is lightweight, being very light in colour. But Sixpence likes it [the most important thing!] and I find it's easy to clean out. There are many brands on the market here. I once tried her with one that is made of pellets and she hated it, so I gave the whole bag to the RSPCA!!!!
00Saturday, July 17, 2010 2:49 AM
I went to Lela's home after daily Mass this morning with some litter - we use the same kind ... Super Scoop by Arm & Hammer - it comes in a 20# box. The litter "clumps" the offerings and makes it easier to clean out every day. It's very fine, like sand, and also odorless. My two like it.

Two of her three cats, Caramel and Brownie, were in the living room. They are sweet and approachable. Caramel is so cute ... If you say Meow she'll do you one back! She also likes to be cradled like a little baby and I'm happy to comply ...

They are like mine ... dry food only and they seem more than satisfied. The dry food make them a bit thirsty so I keep clean water twice a day and they're good ...

Anyway, we're stocking up on dry food and litter ... I'm trying to remember my usual routines and will adjust.

00Saturday, July 17, 2010 6:29 AM
Mau-Mule is constantly hyper. Especially at night! She jumps from the couch all the way to her kitty condo and then to the top of the bookcase, like a bullet. The only time she seems to be calmed down is mid afternoon when she's asleep on my bed. She has gotten better though, she was really really hyper when she was a kitten.

Mary, I looked into the "Thomas" kitty litter, and I found out that it's the UK's #1 selling brand of kitty litter. [SM=g27811] But sadly they don't sell it over here in the US. I was looking into this litter called "Feline Pine." Does anyone have any experience with it? Papabear maybe I'll give the Arm & Hammer stuff a try.

I do the dry food thing too. Mau-Mule is crazy about the new Blue Buffalo food that I bought her. Occasionally I'll get her a can of soft food if there is a coupon or sale. A treat if she's good of course! [SM=g27821] [SM=g27821]

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