House Panther.

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The gorgeous kitten you see above is the same one as this little fluffball.

He’s grown quite a bit, his fur has become sleek and dense black, and he just has the sweetest personality (but he’s a little devil too).

He’s been through several names.   The first name he had was BlackasHell, but that didn’t stick, so I renamed him Shadow.   But he wasn’t having that name either, and since I’ve been calling him House Panther for the past few weeks, that’s going to be his new, permanent name.

 

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Kitten love!

Here are two more pictures of Shadow (renamed from Blackashell, which just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily).  It’s Shadow not only due to his color, but also because he’s very attached to me and follows me around like a…you guessed it…shadow!

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Judging by the size of his feet, he’s going to grow into a big boy!

Can you resist that face?

Blackashell.

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No, not my state of mind!

Blackashell is the name of my new kitten!

He is an adorable almost 7 week old black kitten, and I think he is going to have long hair.  His fur is very fluffy, and though shy with other people, he took to me immediately.  My other three cats seem to not mind him either.

I didn’t really want a 4th kitten (usually it’s a firm “no!” whenever anyone asks if I want a new kitten), but my son in law was telling me about him and something told me this kitten was special so I asked if I could see him.

He was named by my son in law’s nephew (my grand nephew?) who is just three.  I thought the name was hilarious and seemed to fit him so well I decided to keep the name.

And when I saw Blackashell, I decided to keep him as well.

He’s sleeping at my feet as I write this.

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If your pet could text.

This is SO true!

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Credit: N/A

If the earth was flat.

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Sheldon’s greeting.

Rolling around crazily in the gravel driveway is the special way Sheldon greets us when we come home.   Sorry about the poor video quality.

My go-to, one-minute therapy for anxiety and depression.

This is an old video from 2007 showing two cats (they are both female, and both about ten years old at the time this video was made) having a “conversation.”

The cats are not just adorable, but their trilling, purring, and cooing noises and soft little vocalizations are so relaxing I could listen to them on endless loop.

Besides the relaxing effect, I also noticed my mood always improves dramatically after viewing this video (or other ones like it).    It’s incredible how something so simple can improve your entire outlook.

I wonder what the cats were talking about.   Whatever it was, it’s clear these kitties love each other.

If you want something a little longer that has the same relaxing and soothing effect, I recommend this beautiful video of a mom cat and her adorable, playful kittens.

 

 

My new kitten Pocket.

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I never posted about this, but last week our eleven month old kitten/almost cat Marley got hit by a car.

I wasn’t going to replace him, but my daughter was heartbroken, so we talked about it and decided to get a new kitten.  The new kitty, who she named Pocket, is only about six weeks old (we wouldn’t have taken it so young, but the mother was ill and couldn’t take care of her kittens).   He’s extremely playful  and friendly and already gets along great with BabyCat (pictured with Pocket) and Sheldon, my tuxedo cat.

We are not sure if Pocket is a boy or girl yet, but I’m thinking it’s a boy (it’s hard to tell when they’re this young).   I think this is the cutest picture ever.

Music for cats.

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The other day I received my copy of The Humane Society‘s magazine (All Animals), and read an article about a cellist, David Teie, who joined up with a team of animal psychologists to create a new form of music just for cats.

It turns out that cats don’t particularly enjoy human music.   What may be soothing and relaxing to us may irritate or disturb cats, who hear at a higher frequency than humans.  A lower tone which we might find pleasant or relaxing, can be perceived as a threat to them (growling and feline distress sounds tend to be at a lower frequency).

Science has found that human babies develop their sense of rhythm and music in the womb, so most beats in our music are based on the heartbeat that the fetus hears.   Cats, whose brains are much less developed while they are in the womb and who cannot hear until they are born, therefore develop their sense of music as tiny kittens, from the sounds of suckling and purring which were the first sounds they heard.     Teie has combined simulated purr-like, bird-like, and suckling-like sounds with a higher frequency and many more sliding notes (based on cats’ vocalizations) with a cello baseline (which cats can’t hear but make the music more palatable to the humans who will play it for their cats) to make a kind of musical catnip that relaxes and reduces stress in many cats — or just makes them listen.

Musicforcats.com includes a sample of what Teie’s cat music sounds like, and you can also find some of Teie’s cat compositions on Youtube.  To me, most of the cat music sounds otherworldly and mournful, almost sad, like this one (which is my favorite so far):

Some of his compositions are much more energetic and playful-sounding, but those are harder for me to listen to than the slower, more pensive tunes.   I really like the rising, sliding sounds in these compositions. which sound eerie and very cat-like.

Teie has created other species-specific music (most notably tamarin monkeys), and is currently working on music for dogs.   It’s hard to imagine what the dog music would sound like, since dog vocalizations occur at many frequencies depending on the size of the dog, and there seem to be fewer sounds that would be associated with dog learning and early puppyhood (outside of suckling and littermates whimpering).

Here’s a fun video of some cats reacting to their owners’ playing Teie’s music (you can hear samples of some of the songs here too).   But — and I know this has nothing to do with cats or the music —  what exactly is going on with the dog at 2:55?

I must secretly be a cat because I actually really enjoy this music.   I played some of songs for my cats, and only Sheldon really seemed to cotton to it, actually rubbing up against the speakers and becoming more affectionate.   The other two didn’t seem to care one way or the other.

 

The Boys and their tag team morning routine.

I have three cats.  BabyCat is my old girl, getting up there in years but as needy and neurotic as ever.  Then there are The Boys. Marley and Sheldon.   I may not have mentioned Marley before (named after Bob Marley), who is really no more than a big kitten, or catlet, since he is over 6 months but less than a year old.  That’s him above in my daughter’s arms, and he’s every bit as devilish as he looks.

Marley and Sheldon (my black and white tuxedo, pictured below) have a morning routine that works every time.  There is no way I’m getting back to sleep when they team up for their daily torment regimen.

Sheldon taught Marley a neat trick: knocking small objects off dressers, tables, etc.  Sheldon always did this to get attention, and he’d keep looking at you while he slowly extended his paw toward the object, slowly pushing it to the precipice, as if to make sure you were paying attention.   After the object fell, he’d yawn.  Jerk.

Now, Marley does this too.   Talk about double trouble.  I have a tag team of furry little monsters who like to cause mayhem in my bedroom every morning.    They do this to try to wake me up for a variety of reasons, or no reason at all.

Usually it works, because I’ll be out of bed chasing the little demons as they scamper off into the kitchen, or whatever.    They go to their respective food bowls, which usually have some food left in them, except at that time of day, a patch of the bowl at the bottom is visible.   To The Boys, if they can see the bottom of the bowl, there isn’t any food there and they are going to starve to death!  Fill my bowl before I die, human!

If the knocking objects onto the floor tactic doesn’t work, The Boys come up on the bed as I’m trying to sleep.  They have assigned roles, apparently:  Sheldon walks on my face, purring loudly and sometimes meowing pitifully into my ear.    He knows well enough not to extend his claws into my face while he’s walking on it, but sometimes he will deliver a juicy fart!    If he opts to walk on the soft underside of my arm or another soft, tender part of my body which I won’t name here instead, sometimes he will start to knead my  flesh like so much bread dough!  Ouch!   Meanwhile, Marley is scaling the curtains, batting some noisy object around on the hardwood floor, or leaping up on the dresser pushing things to the edge.

Once I get out of bed, I’m usually grumpy and cuss at them.  They go to their half empty food bowls and look at me as if to say, “what’s wrong, human? Why are you so upset?”  Sometimes they aren’t even hungry and just don’t want me to sleep in, or they want to go outside, even if it’s pouring rain and there’s no way they’ll stay out once they get there.

I love my little furry psychopaths and would do anything for them, but why can’t they let me sleep late sometimes?

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