THE SCRATCHING POST
Issue #19, By Barbara Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org
Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN 38175-2671
It's time to once again to mark your calendars for the Mid-South Cat Fanciers Show in Memphis TN. It is being held April 24th and 25th at the Mid-South Fairgrounds. Be sure to come and see your favorite breed of cats.
Mews You Can Use:
Your Cat's Hair
I was reading a wall hanging that states, 'An outfit isn't complete without cat hair'. I then looked down at my clothes and stared at the assortment of fur that had collected even though they were clean when I put them on. Five minutes later look at me!!
Nowadays it seems cat hair is a definite part of my wardrobe, no matter what the occasion. I decided it was time to learn more about this stuff that makes up dust bunnies under our beds and keeps our feline friends warm.
Most cats have four kinds of hairs: the down, awn, guard and vibrissae hairs. The guard hairs have microscopically small barbs and the awn hairs have cuticles that are rough. This is the main reason cat hair sticks to clothing. Add to that fact that the cat's hair is also very electrostatic, and you can see why your clothes don't stand a chance.
The purpose of the down hairs is to provide warmth. They are the hairs closest to the skin and are referred to as the undercoat. They are the shortest, finest, softest and most numerous hairs on the cat. The down hairs appear straight but actually have microscopic crimps or waves that trap air and make them good insulators.
The awn hairs make up the middle coat. They help to insulate the cat and also protect the down hairs underneath. Their unofficial purpose is to stick to your clothes.
The guard hairs are the most obvious ones on your cat since they are the protective topcoat. They are longer and thicker than the down and awn hairs. These hairs are straight and evenly tapered toward the tip. They are somewhat waterproof and protect the underfur from cold and wet weather.
The vibrissae hairs are greatly enlarged and sensitive to touch. The most obvious of these hairs are the cats whiskers.
On average, for every 1,000 down hairs there are about 300 awn hairs and 20 guard hairs. Most cats have a similar number of vibrissae hair but there is a wide variation of the other three types among the different breeds.
For example, Persians have guard hairs that are excessively long and also have elongated down hairs, but no awn hairs. The Devon Rex has no guard hairs and very short, curly awn and down hairs. Through genetic mutations and selective breeding, the natural coats of these cats and other breeds have been altered which makes them unsuitable for the out of doors.
Each cluster of the cat's coat is connected to responsive muscles called arrector pili. When a cat experiences fear, these muscles contract and cause the fur to stand on end. This helps the cat to appear twice as large and more formidable, especially to another cat or a dog.
We also have the same muscle. When contracted, thank goodness it doesn't make me look twice as large, it just causes 'goosebumps.'
From The Cat's Clawset:
The following is from Henry Beston’s The Outermost House:
"Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion.
We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man.
In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
A Love Story by Dody Cordes
He came to us imperfect and for eleven years blessed us daily with his imperfections. In a house full of cats and a dog, he was the one of us with the most to complain about; yet, he was the one among us who never complained.
Simon entered our lives one cold February day. We found him in our yard, emaciated and eating dirt. He had an abscess the size of a lemon on his back and one eye was bulbous and milky blue. He had scars on both legs (we feared torture). He was obviously a full-blooded seal point Siamese (Simon, get it?).
We fed him and took him to our vet as soon as they opened. We honestly thought he would have to be put down – he was in that bad of shape. To our shock, he was healthy except for his wounds. The eye was damaged beyond repair, the abscess could be treated and the scars were likely frostbite.
The vet guessed that he strayed from his litter and had been on his own for some time. We took him into our hearts and our home. We nurtured him, dosed him, and treated his external wounds. He thrived and became our favorite son.
He had been outside so long we could never quite convince him to stay in all the time, except in winter. He could become cranky and vocal and it was always best to give in and let him have his way.
Over the years he suffered other injuries: a bad hip that would not stay in the socket and caused a constant limp and many trips to the vet to "reset" the joint. We eventually had to have the ball of the hip joint surgically removed and he had to rely on muscle to make that leg work properly.
A few years later the bulbous eye ruptured – he was in such pain he could barely stand for us to touch him. The emergency vet was our saving grace that night – he removed what was left of the eye and sewed the eye socket shut. For weeks he looked as if he’d gone 10 with Mike Tyson. He spent his last 4 years with that one eye sewn shut and, oh, how he loved to have that socket rubbed!
Through it all he purred and purred – he loved us and walked the yard with us and sat with us as we worked our flowers. He loved the neighborhood kids – he would amble out in his cock-eyed manner (one eye, no depth perception – he always walked with his head tilted) and flop down for rubs and pets.
He chased squirrels, which was comic – he never came close but he never gave up the chase. Because of his bad hip he never could jump – he had to pull himself up anywhere he wanted to be. He limped a bit and couldn’t run very far. And still he purred.
After his first brutal winter he never enjoyed the cold –he would "winter in," preferring to sleep either in Bob’s armpit or curled between our heads on the bed. Purring. We had a heating pad in a cat bed set up in our home office and there he spent his winter days. Happy, content and entertaining us with the contortionist positions he could get into in that small bed.
In January of 2003 he was diagnosed with Diabetes, requiring daily insulin injections. He took them like a trooper, purring. He never flinched and he never ran – and he never uttered a complaint. Late in 2003 he required two injections a day. Same story.
In December of 2003 he was diagnosed with cancer. We opted not to put him through more – we brought him home and spent the next month seeing to his every wish and need and loving him like there was no tomorrow. We knew he would let us know when it was time and he did. Simon made that one last request with no complaint and no regrets.
On January 18, 2004, he left us with heavy hearts but the indescribable joy of having known him. We will always be thankful he picked us – the blessing was ours.
Animal and People Recognition:
While losing a companion is one of life's greatest sorrows, never having one is to miss out on years of loving companionship.
In Memory of Animals:
Simon--Bob & Dody Cordes
Our one-eyed, Siamese buddy ... We will miss you.
--Suzanne, Hal, Elyse, Andrew & Ki-Kitty Pate
--George & Linda Bond
In memory of our sweet cat who brought us many years of joy and pleasure.
--Wayne & Ruth Ashford
--Don & Brenda Hargrove
The passing of the above listed cats that were not just pets, but companions and furry family members, saddens us. Most of these cats showed up in pitiful condition and with severe health issues, literally "on the doorstep" of their soon-to-be family.
Each of these people opened their hearts and pocket books to help these special cats that selected them, even though they had severe health issues. We not only want to honor the memory of these beloved cats but also honor the very special people that shared their lives and home with them.
In Memory of People:
--Ruth Blann Cartledge
A Word From Home (2Cats):
I am frequently asked what do we do with the cats we are not able to place in a permanent home.
Home 2 Cats is a no-kill organization and sanctuary. Any animal rescued by our organization that does not find a permanent home or that is deemed unadoptable, becomes a resident for life at Home 2 Cats. Some of our 'special' rescues take a longer time to place and Home 2 Cats gives them whatever time is needed until that special home is found.
An example is the case of Black Bart. Since it is especially hard to adopt out handicapped animals (handicapped in our minds not theirs!) we thought Bart would be a permanent resident of Home 2 Cats. Bart is missing parts of both of his back legs. Despite his handicap he could scoot and scurry and even climb stairs.
Bart has the biggest heart and loves everyone. Thanks to the big hearts of Becky and Rick, this special boy has his forever home after being with us for over 3 years. That is what Home 2 Cats is all about, and yes, we really are a no-kill organization.
Curious Cat World:
How do YOU say "Cat"?
Albanian = Mace
Arabic = Biss
Armenian = Gatz
Basque = Catua
Belgian = Kat
Bulgarian = Kotka
Cherokee = Wesa
Cree = Bushi
Czech = Kocka
Chinese = Mao
Danish = Kat
Dutch = Poes
Egyptian = Kut
English = Cat
Esperanto = Kato
Filipino = Pusa
Finnish = Kissa
French = Chat
Gaelic = Cait
German = Katze
Greek = Ga'ta
Hawaiian = Popoki
Hebrew = Cha'tool
Hindi = Billy
Holland = Kat
Hungarian = Cica
Icelandic = Kottur
Indonesian = Kucing
Italian = Gatto
Japanese = Neko
Korean = Ko-yang-i
Latin = Cattus
Lithuanian = Katinas
Malay = Kucing
Maltese = Qattus
Mayan = Miss
Netherlands = Kat
Norwegian = Katt
Polish = Kot
Portuguese = Gato
Romanian = Pisica
Russian = Koshka
Slovak = Macka
Spanish = Gato
Swahili = Paka
Swedish = Katt
Thai = Meo
Turkish = Kedi
Ukranian = Kotuk
Vietnamese = Meo
Zulu = Ikati
Home2Cats is now on Petfinder.Com:
Looking to adopt a cat or kitten? Check out our current pet list and our adoption day calendar on Home2Cats home page on petfinder.com under shelters/organizations. You may also access our home page directly by http://www.petfinder.org/shelters/TN159.html
Home2Cats, Memphis | Newsletters | Photos | Lynx
Please send email to: email@example.com
Or write to: Home 2 Cats
P. O. Box 752671
Memphis, TN 38175-2671
And, as always, our sincere thanks for images from:
Graphics from CatStuff
Microsoft Office: Design Gallery Live
*NaNcY*'s Cat Animation Gallery
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This page was last updated 12/31/10.