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Home2Cats, Memphis | Newsletters | Photos | Lynx - Fall, 2004

FALL, 200

Issue #20, By Barbara Stanley
Home 2 Cats, P. O. Box 752671, Memphis, TN  38175-2671


Our mission is:

To provide food, medical care, love and sanctuary for injured, disabled or abused animals

To educate the public in what constitutes responsible cat care and ownership.

To engage in other activities related to animal rescue and public education about cat care and responsibilities.



  Mews You Can Use 

The Tail Of The Cat

A cat’s tail helps balance the cat’s body. They use their tails for balance before leaping. I know we have all witnessed our felines making that giant leap to the ceiling-high shelves to begin their ‘high wire’ act.

They meticulously maneuver themselves effortlessly among the priceless possessions that we thought had been placed high enough to be out of harm's way. With the tail acting as a counterweight, they walk effortlessly in this precarious situation. After you have recovered from the initial shock and emitted a shriek, their tails help them to maintain their orientation while on the run (escape mode!).

The tail is also a great hunting aid. Balance, counterweight and orientation are critical advantages when hunting. A cat is unable to see her prey if it is not moving. A swishing tail is a great way to initiate the slightest movement in her prey so she can spot the target. More subtle twitching movements while hunting explain her intentions to other cats while not warning the victim.

The cat also uses its tail to communicate with other animals and us. The cat’s tail tells quite a tale. Each movement is sending a message that owners can decode.

Tail ‘waving’ or ‘lashing’ from side to side have different meanings depending on tempo. A quiet or slow waving is a sign of contentment or that your cat is concentrating intently on something.

I know we have all experienced the half-hearted tempo, which means that she is confused or undecided. The classic feline example of this is when your cat thinks it ‘really’ wants to go into the other room. She sits in front of the door meowing. Since you can no longer concentrate on what you were doing, you finally give in and open the door. She then starts the half-hearted tail lashing with a thought process of "do I or don’t I?". When the "don’t I" thought wins, the tail immediately stops.

A cat with a tail lashing at a fast tempo is warning you. Watch out! You have an angry cat or one developing an attitude. Don’t make the silly mistake of ignoring this one.

A tail upright in the flag pole position is an intense greeting signal. This is a friendly cat with no reservations. Kittens greet their mothers this way. A mother’s upright tail is a signal for the kittens to follow her. An upright tail with the tip curled-over (the ‘question mark’) indicates the cat is curious but has reservations or a degree of uncertainty.

The ‘feather dance’ tail is an upright quivering tail. A lot of owners interpret this as their cat trying to spray. But in the ‘feather dance’ no urine is released. This is a cat overjoyed and overcome with emotion to see you.

The bristle or bottle-brush tail indicates the cat feels threatened. At this time the tail won’t be the only thing to bristle. At this stage a cat would rather get away, but if provoked will defend itself.

When a female cat holds her tail over to one side, it means ‘love is in the air!’


  Cat Tails 






Tinker Toy

As a rescue organization and sanctuary, our facility stays full. It is extremely hard when we have to inform people of this and turn away new rescues, especially when there are so many in dire need. When we are unable to rescue or accept an animal, we always try to offer the caller some alternatives.

Such was the case when Claudia called last June. Claudia was visiting her mother in a nursing home and was due to return back to New Hampshire in less than two days. She said there was a cat hanging around the nursing home and a few people were feeding her. But Claudia was concerned about her because she was walking strangely and was worried that a car had hit her.

Unfortunately, Home 2 Cats is too familiar with abandoned cats at nursing homes. We hear all to often about cats being tossed out after their owner has passed away. In fact our nightly rounds to feed the feral colonies that we support also includes some loving cats in that type of situation.

I was relieved when Claudia informed me that several people were feeding the cat. Claudia had concerns about the cat’s physical condition and also was not sure how long the nursing home was going to tolerate this feline.

Claudia paused in our conversation and then added that she just felt something was not right with this cat. I told Claudia that I would visit the nursing home and access the situation. After talking to Claudia I felt the injuries were probably old and I was hoping to convince the people that were currently feeding her to be her caretakers.

I found Tinker Toy exactly where Claudia told me she would be. Tinker Toy definitely had a ‘goose’ type waddle. When I looked Tinker Toy in the eyes, I knew exactly what Claudia was referring to, something was just not right…all the’ lights didn’t seem to be on at the inn’.

So throwing caution to the wind in addition to not heeding my own rules, I loaded up Tinker Toy. We noticed that evening that Tinker Toy had a delayed reaction time when we entered the room. We were uncertain if she was possibly deaf and/or partially blind.

At her ‘well kitty’ exam the next day, we discovered that Tinker Toy’s hearing and sight were fine. We were informed that Tinker Toy had brain damage and that was also the cause of her ‘goose’ type waddle. She was not born this way but had experienced some trauma or abuse in her life that caused oxygen depravation.

Tinker Toy has a delayed reaction time and could not survive on her own. She is totally dependent on humans. I really don’t even think she is capable of catching a bug, but I think a bug could catch her.

Tinker Toy is a loving cat but also has a small attitude. Calicos are notorious for their attitudes, but Tinker Toy is a diluted Calico so maybe that’s why she has just a small attitude!

Home 2 Cats and Tinker Toy appreciates the effort and time Claudia spent on her visit trying to find help for this special cat. Thank you Claudia for caring so much.



  From the Cat's Clawset 

Cats have better memories than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan concluded that while a dog’s memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat's can last as long as 16 hours - exceeding even that of monkeys and orangutans.


  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

Hokey Pokey & Vapor
-- Sydney Nisbet

Latoya Levy
Beloved friend of Janet Levy & Jim Desper.
--Ralph & Jo Levy

The sweetest 'sign-languaged' Spaniel we've ever known.
Beloved companion to Mike & Marlene Mauk.

--Suzanne, Hal, Elyse, Andrew & Ki-Kitty Pate

--Larry & Barbara Stanley

--Don & Brenda Hargrove
--Larry & Barbara Stanley

In Memory Of People

Ozzie Gordon
--Diane & John Clement
--Barbara & Larry Stanley

Ted Cartledge
The love of my life.
--Ruth Blann Cartledge


  A Word From Home (2Cats) 

Medical Insurance For Pets

With the cost of living increasing, so is the cost of medical care. Medical care is necessary not only for us but also for our beloved pets. The majority of us humans have medical insurance to help defray the costs, especially if there is a long-term illness involved.

But what about medical insurance for our pets? This is a subject that I have been approached about several times. Since I have never had pet insurance on my personal pets and had never researched the subject, I was unable to offer any words of wisdom. I felt it was time to send our Mews Investigators on the cat trail to research the matter.

The information we found was not as cut and dry as expected. The annual rate of the health plans varied, depending on various factors; e.g. age of pet, type of pet and breed, state where pet resides, type of plan selected, etc.

Most companies’ web sites supplied a form that enabled you to get a quote immediately. Most offered a 10% discount for two pets. An annual deductible amount also varied per company and plan. Most plans, after the annual deductible was met, would cover 80% of the allowable cost.

We were able to find two individuals who had pet insurance coverage; and they were kind enough to send us copies of their vet bills and claims paid.

Misty is an 8 yr old cat that has just been diagnosed with cancer. The yearly rate that was being paid by the owner was $113 year/$50 deductible. Casper is an 8 yr old cat that was having chronic urinary tract infection. Casper is insured by a different company than Misty, with an annual rate of $159.90 year/$50 deductible.

Since the cats had different diseases, diagnostic treatments and medicines, we were not able to make a good comparison on all charges. When comparing cost for similar medical services we found that each company’s allowable cost differed. Misty’s company had a higher allowable cost and therefore had a higher reimbursement rate, but it was slower on processing claims once filed.

Both owners felt the insurance was worth the investment, even more so if your pet is diagnosed with a chronic or serious illness.



  On-Going Projects 

Home 2 Cats Is Now On Petfinder.Com

Looking to adopt a cat or kitten? Check out our current pet list and our adoption day calendar on Home 2 Cats home page on under shelters/organizations. You may also access our home page directly by




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P. O. Box 752671
Memphis, TN  38175-2671
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