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April 2014

Grumpy cat needs home


Virginia Fryback Charlie

Charlie Turns Up at the Shelter After 5 Years

Fort Wayne Cat Missing for Five Years Recovered with Microchip

Virginia Fryback of Fort Wayne, Indiana couldn’t believe it when she was being contacted about her lost cat Charlie.

Charlie disappeared five years ago and, although Virginia searched, he seemed was gone. That is until 10 year old Charlie showed up at Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control on Monday, April 20. Shelter staff scanned the cat and discovered Charlie had a microchip that identifies Virginia Fryback as his owner.

The shelter routinely scans all lost pets for a microchip. “It’s wonderful when we find one and can notify an owner that we have their lost pet. The chip has likely saved Charlie’s life because most people choose to adopt a much younger cat,” said Animal Control spokeswoman Peggy Bender

Ms. Fryback says she is extremely grateful that her veterinarian convinced her to get a microchip for Charlie when he was a kitten.


Sir your a cat!


New York cat therapist Carole Wilbourne

Even cats can sometimes use some therapy

Even cats need a little therapy.

Lately the headlines have been full with fickle felines, like the Portland case where a family called 911 on their 22-pound puss, Lux, after their Himalayan trapped them in a bedroom.

Animal Planet cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy will treat Lux on the fifth season of “My Cat From Hell,” premiering this Saturday, but he’s not the only cat in need of mental help.

Last week, three California family members were hospitalized after their unprovoked cat freaked and began clawing their legs, faces and arms. And an Upper East Side cat named February has been harassing pooches outside of the Running Paws doggie day care on First Ave.

I had my own cat-attack recently when I moved with my 2-year-old tabby, Finn, into a Washington Heights apartment where my new roommates, have an 18-month-old Russian blue named Artemis.

The cats barely tolerate each other, and feline-human relations aren’t much better: Finn runs from my roommates, and Artemis hisses at me.

So I called New York-based cat therapist Carole Wilbourne, who’s been working with troubled tabbies since 1970.

The feline Freud swoops in when cat owners are ready to give their sourpuss the boot.

“Cats don’t like being dictated to,” says Wilbourne, “and people don’t know what to do with them.”

The New York City Economic Development Corporation estimates there are 500,000 house cats in the city, and being cooped up in apartments all day while their owners are working can lead to all sorts of problems.

“Apartment owners turn to cats because they’re more independent than dogs,” Wilbourne says. “They think, ‘Oh, I can go away for three days, and all I have to do is put food down,’ which is crazy.”

Lonely cats suffering what she calls “single cat syndrome” they poop outside the litter box, claw furniture and act aggressively because they’re stressed from being alone. Introducing a second cat (Wilbourne does “cat introductions” to help you find the purr-fect mate, of course) can solve many of these problems she said.

But in my case, this wasn’t working. Finn and Artemis did not seem happy.

“They’re testing you,” says Wilbourne, who arrives at our apartment in loafers. She starts our session by playing a New Age CD of humpback whale sounds to relax the cats.

Artemis hides, but Finn surprisingly sits next to Wilbourne on the couch.

Animal Planet cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy

She strokes his fur while taking notes about his eating, sleeping and bathroom habits. “How are you today Finn, you handsome boy?” Wilbourne coos. She gives him some catnip, and he’s putty in her hands. They even touch noses.

She tells Julie and I to each focus on our own cats, and not to worry about getting each other’s pets to like us. “It’s more important that the cats get along with each other than if they get along with you,” she said.

Our well-meaning effort to bond with each other’s pets has kept our cats from bonding. “They feel betrayed because you are paying attention to a new cat,” she said. “It would be like if you were living with a guy, and he brought home another woman.”

She says to leave the cats alone to bond with each other, and so far, so good. After a few weeks of following Wilbourne’s advice, the two cats now playfully chase each other up and down the hall, and Artemis even let me pet her the other day.

Wilbourne’s house calls aren’t cheap, she charges $365 for the first at-home visit, and $175 for followups. Perks include treats like catnip and toys, and we received a postcard from her, a few days later to see how we’re doing.

Our cats don’t need Prozac or Valium like some of her patients,  but she does refer some violent cats to vets for prescription. “If a cat is not responding to a behavioral program, that’s what you need to do,” she says.



Maritni is held by his doting owner who created the design

Cats clipped and dyed into ‘works of art’ for competition

Anyone who has a cat knows that they most definitely like to feel in charge, and are quick to show their displeasure.

So it is no wonder that these felines look decidedly unimpressed after their owners clipped and dyed them for a grooming competition.

tiger clipped cat

The world’s largest grooming competition, Intergroom, is held every year in New Jersey, USA and features 2,000 of the world’s best pet groomers from 23 different countries.

At the end of the three-day show participants are asked to show off their adventurous side in the creative grooming category.

And they didn’t disappoint this year with cats being made into lions, birds and dogs.

The eccentric owners spend weeks meticulously spraying and clipping their cats to perfect their designs.

Cat named 'Bird Stalker'

Professional photographer Paul Nathan, 43, who was at the event taking photos for his upcoming book said: ‘They are all professional groomers who take this one opportunity a year to really be creative.

‘Most of the work is completed before they arrive at the show as they have to be meticulous and spend weeks dying and snipping their cats.

‘There is just so much detail and work involved so not one hair is out of place.

‘There was a cat who had been turned into a lion but he didn’t manage to look very fierce. ‘There was another cat that had been turned into Scooby Doo – which looked great.

Himalayan lion clipped cat

‘I’m not a groomer myself and don’t have a cat or a dog, but I love the effort that goes into these competitions.

‘I think that the people involved have to be a little eccentric but in the nicest possible way.

‘There are some people who may think this is a cruel thing to do, but any cat owned by a professional groomer is going to be fantastically well looked after.’

‘All of the dyes are non-toxic and the cats are obviously well looked after.’



Hamish the Cat with his statue

Scottish town erects $8K statue for beloved stray cat

He likely would have preferred a can of tuna, but the 14-year-old Hamish McHamish the cat certainly isn’t complaining about the $8,000 cast bronze statue erected in his honour last week.
Lovingly referred to as a “collective pet” of St. Andrews, Scotland, Hamish has been bringing joy to the people of his small town for more than a decade.

Hamish the Cat with his book

According to The Scotsman, the beloved stray has been spending his time in various shops, houses and buildings around town since he ran away from home at the age of one (his former owner still sees that Hamish gets annual veterinary check-ups, don’t fret.)

Hamish has managed to build quite a fan base since that time, complete with his own Wikipedia entry, a loyal Twitter following, a Facebook page, and even a book about his life.

Hamish the Cat arriving at unveiling

Now, the feline has got his own statue too. Funded by the residents of St. Andrews through a fundraising campaign, the cast bronze Hamish statue was unveiled Saturday in the town’s church square.

“Our statue is a way of saying a thank you to Hamish for being so ‘purrfectly’ adorable and to celebrate him and the joy he brings us,” said campaign founder and local resident Flora Selwyn to The Scotsman. “Hamish is a wonderful cat.”

On the day of the big unveiling, the guest of honour arrived in a black convertible to greet his fans.
Many around the web were delighted to havefound Hamish as news of his statue spread around the web, but the humble feline is taking his new-found international fame in stride.


April 2014

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