it’s been a long time!

Hi, Catlines has been down for some time and we are back stronger than ever.  I am starting once again and hope things will continue to go well with Cats Are Terrifically Superb!–because they are! My kitties are fine. Maryah is getting up there; going on thirteen. Toby is a whiny cat sometimes. I’ve never had a whiny cat before. Laynie is a scratcher so I have to scold her now and then. I just got them a new, larger cat tree with more PURRks. A friend, Sue, is going to take the narrow, tall one for her cats. I am still working at Travis Air Force Base as a phone operator. I am in a new church since I last posted. It is great, and fun!

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Welcome

Welcome to Catlines blog where Cats Are Terrifically Superb. We’re back online and hope you enjoy the posts.

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Pet Bereavement Info For You And More

Hi, I have forgotten to mention lately that I am a member of two catly
organizations:the Cat Writers’ Association at
www.catwriters.org and the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB).
At the APLB’s website:

http://aplb.org/aplb/link.php

one can join pet loss chats facilitated by certified counselors in pet
loss and bereavement. I am also certified by APLB and if I can help you
during the loss of your pet, please let me know.

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Catlines New Facebook Page

Catlines now has a facebook page. Please like us on facebook by using
the link below.

Catlines – Cats Are Terrifically Superb

 

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Welcome to Catlines!

Hi, I am posting to see if my WordPress blog is working okay. I also want to know if my post will make it to FaceBook. So here we go! I am enjoying my 2 current kitties, Maryah and Toby! Maryah keeps Toby in line since she is many years older. Toby was wild today but he is resting on a folded towel near my feet. It is Lewie’s towel. Lewie used it when he sat on the back of my chair. But Toby brings it down to the floor, so I am letting him rest on it.

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Cats *Everywhere* Cats

Cats *Everywhere* Cats

By Lauren Merryfield

I have been a member of the Cat Writers’ Association for several years now, but had never attended one of it’s annual conferences.

Further, I’ve been to local cat shows, but never to the International Cat Show sponsored by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Upon discovering that both of these catly events would be happening in Houston, Texas, in November of 2002, I had a talk with my husband, Jim, about Christmas gifts–wouldn’t attending these two special events make a PURRfect gift for both of us–from both of
us? He agreed, and, off we went!

We were too late for reservations at the main hotel, however, an alternative hotel was able to accommodate us at the Cat Fanciers’ rate.

Very soon during our stay, we discovered, by the sounds of “meow” emanating from cat carriers in hallways, in the lobby, in the elevator, on rides to and from the hotel, that some members of the Cat Fanciers’ Association were our hotel-mates.

Following are just some of my responses to my first time at these conferences.

I’ve been a CWA member for two years and this was my first conference!

Names of some of our members were familiar to me, but I can’t say that I *knew*
anyone. Introductions around the room at the beginning of the conference might have helped, though most of the people in attendance already knew each other–A little daunting for a first-timer.

I felt a stressful sense of ambiguity and even some guilt in not attending all of the
seminars. Reasons for such delinquency:
1: Two seminars happening simultaneously.
2: Probably really number one–cat show! cat show! cat show!
3: Met the family of an epal of two years who has eleven cats; need I say
more?  Yes! there’s more! Meeting them Was wonderful! And, get this, they took us to the Katz’s Deli, for real! Excellent human food!

I enjoyed the banquet. I appreciated being present as deserving cat-writers received commendation for their
efforts. I further noticed that the awards were spread around, except in a couple deserving cases!

Some brand new members were first-time winners! This gave me hope for the future, being a relatively new member myself.

Then there was that cat show, beckoning me magnetically through the duration of my stay.

Since I personally feel a terrible internal conflict regarding Miss America-type shows for humans, plus, considering myself to be a potential Meowmmy to any cats–all cats–I refused to focus on the judging and some of the well, catty remarks during bus rides which would be disparaging to so many homeless cats and even my own dear ones!

However, I loved just being in a roomful of over 1 thousand cats! They were all so beautiful, though some of the most overly-trained cats I’ve ever met!

Meeting some of them was such a privilege; for meeting any cats–all cats–is a privilege to me!

Being a 60’s, non-conformist type, I shy away from protocol in favor of spontaneity and
creativity. The cat show was far too orderly for me, though a remote aspect of myself understands this necessity.

In all honesty, I was disappointed not to hear “Attention in ring seven! Cat out!” and a scramble to see who could get all the doors closed soonest. The daydream of that “cat out” coming to me, giving me the opportunity to snuggle and smuggle him/her out to a life of freedom was fantastic, though short-lived, as the “kittens in premiership, ready in ring 3,” “Will cats 729 through 735 please be brought to ring nine, with the exception of number 731,” brought me back to cat show reality.

“Kittens in premiership? What does that mean?” I asked of a patient cat-shower whose American wire-hair cat was being touch by me for the first time.

“Cats in championship are not neutered and most likely bred, while cats in premiership have been spayed or neutered,” I was informed.

Though I love any cats–all cats–it was enlightening and entertaining to meet a hairless Sphinx cat, an American wire-hair cat, and a prize-winning Balinese cat for the first
time. Last Train to Georgia, nicknamed Chooch, had been in the previous day’s paper, so I understood the ownee’s
pride. (They only think they own the cats, right?)

On the front burner of my mind, however, were the facts that other papers throughout the world were reporting cruelty to cats, homelessness of cats, euthanasia of cats for lack of room, and cats becoming
road-kill. The mixed feelings never escaped me!

Psychologically, I was able to bring my angst down a notch by PURRchasing a shirt stating “Without pawprints in it, life is just not worth living.”

The feeling, among cats, may not be mutual, but in many cases in fact, they are reciprocal; we need cats as much as they need us to enrich each others’ lives.

One embarrassing event occurred on my second visit to the cat show. My husband, Jim, and I were snooping down Meow Mall, the vendors’ area, when suddenly I needed to sit, right
now! This is quite the norm for those of us with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome.

We immediately scurried to ring 2 where I nearly collapsed. I heard a woman with kids in tow say to them, “I think she’s having a seizure; we better go get help.”

I thought this odd, having gone to school with kids who had seizures and there is usually quite a lot of unusual commotion during such an event.

As I was dismissing the seemingly incongruous concern, I heard “Attention in ring
2. There’s a medical emergency in ring 2,” though stated matter-of-factly, I felt the
creepy-crawlies! I was in ring 2. What was happening unbeknownst to me?

Imagine the shock when I was suddenly surrounded by medical personnel, at least one CWA member, and the vendor of a shirt my
husband had just PURRchased.

“Can you talk?” “Are you alone?” “Well where *is* your husband?” the last question was asked
critically. I explained that someone must have heard me say to Jim what seems pretty normal for us and they heard it as an emergency.

Jim, being not at all unattentive, was PURRusing the arena so that we could make better and quicker decisions on where to go next in all the surrounding catliness, thus, he had not deserted me.

Having been naughty at the deli in eating dessert, (my blood sugar was probably too high, though I am not diabetic), so I may have looked worse off than I really was.

It was relieving to know that humans and felines were all in good hands at the show, and now we had a bit of humor to write home about.

Oh yes! Just one more thing! Though we met some of the greatest cats in the whole wide
world, there is a triple tie for first best cats — as demonstrated in a wonderful home-coming reunion — Jaspur, Mikey and Gabrielle, never to be show cats but they sure put on a great and loving cat show for us as we dumped our exhausted bodies through our front door!

=====================
Lauren Merryfield is the editor/publisher of CATLINES. She and her husband, Jim, live in Washington with their three feline “kids,” Jaspur, Mikey and
Gabrielle. Lauren is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association
and co-owner of Catlines.com where one can join CATLINES.
=====================

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The Best Cat Toy Ever

THE BEST TOY EVER

By Lauren Merryfield

Upon the phone table he goes, knocking things down irrelevant to cats. Mikey knows just what he
wants. His frenzy is short-lived when he finds only the plastic box. Oh no! He sees what he wants within that clear-lidded box, but has not yet figured out how to open it, beholding the treasure.

Plan B comes forth in his catly mind–bother my ownees. Knock down more
things; that gets them up. Squeak long ones, even put an M at the beginning; that reeeeeally gets them.

And so it goes, until one of us lifts the lid to the best toy ever!

Back and forth, up and down, over the carpet, through the door, in circles and other designs, the tiny, red laser beam dances, to sheer delight of all three cats.

After observing the feline frenzy for several minutes, husband, Jim concludes that each cat has his/her characteristic manner in which to handle this elusive red dot.

Jaspur, the bitey one, tries to bite and/or eat the tiny morsel, to no avail.

Mikey pounces upon it, as if to kill, though the miniscule prey moves on.

Gabrielle, the youngest of the three, still kitteny in many ways, runs circle after circle around the too-swiftly-darting toy.

Their delight is unanimous! Their inability to eat, squash, or pin down the beam seems not to bother them, for whatever it is they really want to accomplish — playing with the light — is an accomplishment in itself.

How might we learn from these cats, with 3 separate ways of handling this dot in their lives?

We can be determined to find what we want to do and go through a few snags, if necessary, to get it. We can separate the determination from all the other thoughts we might have, telling us not to do it; there isn’t time; who cares; it’s better for someone else to have it because I don’t deserve it; I don’t know how to get it; etc.

We can discover that our goal is similar to that of many others, but when several of us perceive the same thing, we come up with individually different ways to respond to it and make it our own, with our own unique way of making whatever it is happen.

We can take the one thing some of us have in common and share it, taking turns.

We can discover which ways work for us and which do not; eliminating those means that may harm another in some way.

And the list goes on.

Let’s learn from Jaspur, Mikey and Gabrielle, as they are totally themselves, doing their own thing, with the best toy ever!

(Editor’s note: The last I knew, housecat.com has these laser light toys.)

=====================
Lauren has written about cats since she was in grade-school. She is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and has contributed human and animal-interest articles to several publications.
=====================

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Happy Mew Year

Happy Mew Year, all you cat-lovers!
http://llerrah.com/newyearcats.htm
Lauren
http://www.catliness.com

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History of Cats

A Backwards Glance into the History of Cats
By Audrey Frederick

Have you ever wondered where “today’s cat” came from? I have and
so I began a little research on the history of cats. Apparently no one
really knows when
or how “the cat” first appeared on our planet. According to some
sources it is said that Miacis, a weasel-like animal that lived about 40
or 50 million
years ago is the cat’s closest ancestor. I have not been able to find
any pictures or drawings of this animal, that is supposed to be the
father/mother
(if you will,) of all land-dwelling carnivores, including the dog. Since I
cannot prove otherwise, I will accept this information for as close to the
truth
as I can get.

According to a DNA study that was done in 1997 by two members of the
National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, it appears that cats
have been known
to live in Asia as early as 11 million years ago and here in North America
as early as 9 million years ago. Their research was based on DNA analysis
of
37 living cat species.

Millions of years ago, as sea level rose and fell, the earth formed
natural bridges and the cats being nomadic creatures traveled all over to
colonize,
everywhere that is, except Antarctica according to some scientists. Why
not there? I believe cats were smart enough to know it was too cold. If
you are
picturing in your mind a cat that looks like your cat wandering around the
earth, forget it. These cats did not look like our cats, some were big
cats
and some were smaller cats, it took a long while for “our cat” to
emerge. The 1997 study by the National Cancer Institute also helped
determine that most
of the 37 or so living species of cat that exist today, belonged to one of
past eight lineage’s according to their DNA.

It is said that the first association of cats with humans may have
occurred during the Stone Age. Apparently, the cats figured out “where
there were humans”
there would be food and where there was food a mouse or two could be
found. However, it took a long time for cats to be considered household
pets, as cats
were considered useful, but wild beasts. Then came the days of ancient
Egypt.

The Egyptians about 5,00 to 6,000 years ago had learned how to
stockpile grain for future use. With the stockpiles of grain came mice and
rats and a serious
need occurred. The Egyptians were the first civilization to domesticate
the cat on a large scale and to make the world aware of the usefulness of
the cat
not only for catching mice and rats, but also as a household pet. The
Egyptians were so enamored with “the cat” and its importance in their
lives that
they not only allowed it in their households, they eventually worshipped
the cat and treated it like royalty. “The royalty treatment” is
something the
cat never forgot.

In Egypt when a cat died they were mummified and buried in elaborate
ceremonies, even in the poorest of households. Mice were mummified along
with the
cat, so that the cat would have food in is afterlife. There were some cats
that were considered sacred and they lived in the temples with the
priests.
These cats were considered oracles and people would come from long
distances to ask the cats questions. The priests would interpret the
cat’s actions (such
as licking its paw) and tell the visitor what the cat was saying. It was
considered a crime to kill a cat and if you were guilty of that crime, you
were
killed, too.

It has come to light during an archeological excavation in Saqqara,
where thousands of cat mummies were found that all the cats did not die a
natural death.
By x-raying some of the mummified cats it was revealed that many did die
of natural causes, but some were young cats (year old) with broken necks.
There
are two schools of thought here, one being that the cat population had
grown too large and it was a way to slow it down. The other possibility
was that
the priests raised these cats and later killed and mummified them to sell
to people who attended festivals.

It was considered proper to buy a mummified cat as a way to please the
“cat goddess” called Bastet and then ask a personal favor from her.
Researchers
are fairly certain the people buying the cats did not know they were
intentionally killed. It did not take long for the word to get around
(about a 1,000
years or so) about the usefulness of cats in a household. Soon the Romans
and Greeks realized the value of a cat and made them members of their
household.
Here they were not worshipped. During the 11th century cats became
extremely important in killing the rats that were causing the Black Death.

Then came the Middle Ages and trouble followed for the cats. Pope
Gregory IX apparently did not like cats and decided that they were
diabolical creatures
and needed to be destroyed. It was a sad time for cats as they were
beaten, killed and driven away from the villages. Anyone who had a cat was
considered
a “witch” and was put to death along with the cat. Cats were
sacrificed, burned to death and even buried alive inside walls of houses
(supposed to bring
good luck.)

As the cat population was being destroyed, the rat and mice population
grew by leaps and bounds. Causing a great many plagues and other epidemics
all over
Europe. People were dying everywhere and soon they realized the error of
their ways.

By the 17th century, cats were back in favor, doing what they did best,
catching mice and rats. However, people began to see that cats were nice
to have
around and soon they became treasured household pets once again. It has
been said that the first cats came to North America by crossing over the
Bering
Strait about several million years or so ago. However, in more recent
times (1600-1700) cats came on board ships with the traders and explorers.
Cats were
very important on board ships in order to protect the cargo from the rats
and mice.

Many early settlers in the colonies brought their own cats with them.
Life seemed pretty good for cats until the Salem witch-hunt of 1692 and
once again
cats became a product of discrimination along with the people who owned
them and were destroyed or driven away. Once again “people” learned
the error of
their ways and cats were once again welcome as the rat and mice population
grew.

In 1749 cats were brought to Pennsylvania to help control a serious
rodent plague. As more and more colonists came to the New World the need
for cats grew.
It was necessary to import cats and the new cats needed to be stronger and
sturdier. Without cats, the New World would have faced many plagues and
ships
would have lost much of their cargo. You might say “cats” saved our
country.

As time went on and our country grew, people started moving west. They
packed up their worldly possessions into wagons, gathered up the family
and livestock
and forgot the cats. They seemed to forget, that where there were people
and food (grain) soon there would be rodents. It’s Murphy’s Law.

It is said that during the Gold Rush of 1849, people were buying cats
off trading ships for $50.00 a piece. In 1884 during the rat plague that
came to
San Francisco, people were willing to pay up to $100 for a cat.

Cats like our country prospered and like the people, cats came from all
countries of the world. This mix of cats and the breeding that took place
has managed
to give our country a great mix of what is known as “domestic
shorthaired.” Today there are more than sixty-five million cats living
in our homes. Cats
far outnumber dogs.

The number of actual breeds varies according to the source you check.
Some sources say that there are 36 species, others say 37 species, but we
have found
with the new breeds coming along that there are probably over 40 different
varieties of cats.

This has been a very brief history of cats; they certainly have played
a very important part in the growth of the Universe. It is hard for me to
imagine
life without having at least one of them around and I hope you feel the
same.

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Nora the Piano-Playing Cat

This is so cute, and it’s for real. Cats really do have an
appreciation for the arts, especially music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0zgQAp7EYw

Kerry

For those of you who love cats and have not met Nora the piano
playing cat… you need to view her two videos.

OMG I am in love with this kitty. It is just too cute!

http://www.ravenswingstudio.com/docs/cats.html

Karen

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