A child’s development can often be accelerated by daily interactions with the family pet. Their young minds grow a great deal through their social and emotional bonds. Instead of providing scientific facts to backup this theory, here are 22 photos that without a doubt prove that it’s true.
Your cat's tail can tell you about what's going on inside her head. Tails are good indicators of mood. Take a little time to observe your cat's behavior and you will start to get a feel of the tales the tail tells.
Position: high. When your cat holds her tail high in the air as she moves about her territory, she's expressing confidence and contentment. A tail that sticks straight up signals happiness and a willingness to be friendly. And watch the tip of an erect tail. A little twitch can mean a particularly happy moment.
Position: curved like a question mark. You might consider taking a break from your daily business to play with your cat if you notice a curve in her tail. This tail position often signals a playful mood and a cat that's ready to share some fun with you.
Position: low. Watch out. A tail positioned straight down can signal aggression. A lower tail is a very serious mood. However, be aware that certain breeds, such as Persians, tend to carry their tails low for no particular reason.
Position: tucked away. A tail curved beneath the body signals fear or submission. Something is making your cat nervous.
Position: puffed up. A tail resembling a pipe cleaner reflects a severely agitated and frightened cat trying to look bigger to ward off danger.
Position: whipping tail. A tail that slaps back and forth rapidly indicates both fear and aggression. Consider it a warning to stay away.
Position: swishing tail. A tail that sways slowly from side to side usually means your cat is focused on an object. You might see this tail position right before your cat pounces on a toy or a kibble of cat food thats tumbled outside the food bowl.
Position: wrapped around another cat. A tail wrapped around another cat is like you putting your arm around another person. It conveys friendship.
On a scale of one to 10, how much does this cat loves its human? One cat-jillion. That's how much.
If you want to see what kitty love looks like, watch the video above.
Their bond is clear when you just look at 'em nuzzle.
Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.—and all over the world
repost from THE WASHINGTON POST
As 2013 comes to a close and people and publications take stock of the year just passed in various ways (see, for example, last weekend’s magazine) now’s the time — if ever — to note the passing of some cats who made their mark on the world, with contributions from various members of The Times’s staff.
Hugh ChisholmTuxedo Stan
On Oct. 12, 2012, Tuxedo Stan’s political career was torpedoed: The Daily Scoop, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, splashed a picture on its front page of two blue-eyed tuxedo kittens under the headline: “Are These Stan’s Love Children?” An accompanying article reported that Stan had been served with a paternity suit by a stray tortie named Bella, from the city’s working-class North End. Stan denied the allegations, but must have known, with the election just eight days away, his bid to become mayor of Halifax was doomed.
Of course this was all a charade, blog fodder created by a friend of Hugh Chisholm’s. Chisholm, a veterinarian, as well as Stan’s owner and chief handler, told me, “It wouldn’t be a real election campaign without a scandal.” Besides, anyone familiar with Stan’s campaign would have known that he could not have fathered those kittens. Stan was, as we say, fixed — in fact, his entire political career was propelled by the problem of feline sexuality. Halifax has a massive feral cat population, 100,000 by some estimates. (This, in a city of 300,000 humans.) And Stan, along with a cadre of concerned citizens, was determined to improve their lot in the most Malthusian fashion: with a massive trap-neuter campaign.
Translated into human terms, the vast sterilization of the poor falls somewhere between “A Modest Proposal” and the eugenics rage in early 20th-century America. But cats are not humans. They live perpetually at the brink of rutting, hissing, mewling pesthood, kept safe from their baser nature by their human benefactors who supply them with kibble, toys and ‘nip. And because he was not human, Stan’s name never made it onto the ballot in Halifax, but his campaign was not totally in vain. In May, the city of Halifax voted unanimously to give $40,000 to the S.P.C.A. to fund the creation of an affordable spay/neuter clinic — a promise many politicians had made to Stan during the election.
Though he lost a battle with kidney cancer in September, Stan’s political career continues to follow a familiar arc. According to Chisholm, his memoirs should be out by February. — Willy Staley
Homer was just two weeks old when he was found wandering the streets of Miami with a severe eye infection. Two people brought him to a veterinarian named Patricia Khuly and suggested she put him to sleep to end his suffering. Instead, Khuly surgically removed his eyes to keep the infection from spreading and began looking for someone to adopt the tiny obsidian kitten. Many people shied away from the special-needs feline, but when Gwen Cooper met him, she was smitten. She entertained several possibilities (her roommate suggested Socket) before naming the kitten after the blind Greek poet. Veterinarians warned Cooper that blindness could make him more timid than most cats, but he proved them wrong.
One night in 2000, Cooper wrote, she was awoken by Homer growling on her bed. An intruder was in her room, and when Cooper turned on the light, Homer launched himself at the trespasser’s face, biting and scratching ferociously. The man fled.
By the time Homer died on Aug. 21, at age 16, Cooper had sold more than 250,000 copies of her book, “Homer’s Odyssey,” which helped raise awareness about the plight of blind cats. “Because of Homer and his story, many shelters no longer euthanize blind cats immediately upon intake, and we’re seeing far higher adoption rates of blind cats,” Alana Miller, the executive director of Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, told Cooper for an article. “He’s helped save countless lives.” — Daniel E. Slotnik
via FacebookAlfie’s profile picture on his Facebook page
Alfie, who was thought to be “the most famous cat in Wales,” died of natural causes this year at the ripe old cat-age of 19. For 10 years, the chocolate brown cat hung out on the same street corner in the small town of Chepstow, Monmouthshire, sunbathing in front of the local pharmacy. A very mellow and friendly cat, he would sometimes even curl up and nap in the street, and cars were always careful to go around him. He was much beloved by the townsfolk, so much so that his Facebook page now has more than 600 condolence messages on it, like that from a bus driver named Dave Colton, who wrote: “As a National Express coach driver passing through Chepstow on many occasion, Alfie always raised a smile. R.I.P. mate.” In March, the Monmouthshire Beacon reported that between 75 to 100 mourners attended Alfie’s wake in a local pub. More recently, a plaque made by a local potter was installed over his favorite hang-out spot. It reads “Alfie’s Corner.” Sometimes you’ll still see flowers placed there in his honor. — Amy Kellner
Uggs died in September at the age of 12.
What made Ugly Bat Boy unique among furless felines was a rather unusual mound of coarse woolly hair cascading from his chest, resembling that of a lion’s mane. His longtime companion and owner, Dr. Stephen Basset of Exeter Veterinary Hospital in New Hampshire, thought the cat’s odd appearance might have been the result of a genetic defect. Known around the world as perhaps the ugliest cat who ever lived, Uggs, as he was called, had a reputation for an amicable personality. He was popular with visitors to Exeter and tourists alike, who would stop in for an encounter with what they thought of as a mythical creature. His passing in September was felt within his community of Stratham, N.H., and made news in other cities. Dr. Bassett remembers him as “a handsome boy.” — Andrea Rice
From Linton Zoo
Zara, a lion cub, and Arnie.
Arnie was an adult stray when he was adopted by Kim Simmons, the director of the Linton Zoo in England. Simmons, who lives on the zoo’s grounds, said Arnie was so drawn to taking care of young animals that he would sometimes find a baby rabbit or moorhen chick on his own and bring it home to be nurtured. Arnie also “babysat” for the zoo’s owlets, parrot chicks and lion cubs. He enjoyed “washing and grooming anything fluffy or furry,” Simmons told me.
Arnie’s cuddly nature proved useful when it came to hand-reared animals at the Linton Zoo. When a baby animal is separated from its mother, Simmons explained, it’s done only as a last resort, sometimes due to a mother’s inability to provide care. If a hand-reared baby animal doesn’t socialize with other animals, it risks becoming “imprinted” into believing itself to be a human.
Arnie died in his sleep on Jan. 9. He was believed to be 15 years old. In his honor, the Linton Zoo set up a fund that promotes animal conservation. —Maya Lau