Category Archives: cats

The Art of Purring Book Review and a Comment-a-thon!

By Julia Williams

Because it’s the giving season, CANIDAE decided to hold a comment-a-thon to benefit PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support)! I’ll give you all the important details for that below. But first, I want to tell you about a pawsome novel that should be on the bookshelf of every cat lover.

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The Dalai Lama’s cat is back, which makes me so happy that I’m purring! Not actually purring, mind you, but metaphorically. I was over the moon when I received my copy of The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring, because it’s a sequel to one of the best books I read in 2013.

In that first book, The Dalai Lama’s Cat, I met and fell in love with a witty, wise and mischievous feline who “had me at hello.” She’s every bit as charming in this delightful new book, which also offers pearls of Buddhist wisdom from a cat’s point of view. The principles are sprinkled so subtly throughout the book that you may not even be consciously aware of them, but they will have a lasting impact nonetheless.

The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring offers gentle but profound lessons about life and most importantly, happiness – where it comes from, how to be joyful not just in the moment but for a lifetime, and how to discover more of the things that make you purr. Although the Dalai Lama’s cat walks on four legs instead of two, the wisdom she uncovers through various events can be applied to all of our lives.

My only disappointment is that the Dalai Lama was absent for most of the book, having left on a trip at the start of the story and returning just a few pages from the end. I do understand the point for his absence – a valuable lesson learned – but I loved the interaction of the Dalai Lama and Little Snow Lion (his affectionate name for the cat) in the first book, and was hoping for more of that.

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How to Tell if You’re a Hopeless Pet Lover

By Linda Cole

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a pet around. Not even when I went to college. Yep, I snuck my kitten in to be my dorm roommate. I admit to being a hopeless pet lover; it’s a label I’m happy to wear since I can’t seem to get all of the dog and cat hair brushed off my clothes. When a pet has captured our heart, the only thing we can do is look for those telltale signs that show how hopeless of a pet lover we’ve become. Take this fun quiz to see just how hopeless!

1. The color coded pie chart you made for household expenses (red), entertainment (blue), food (yellow) and pet expenses (green)…
A. Has way more green on it than any other color.
B. Was eaten by the dog, who mistook it for homework.
C. Has become the cat’s favorite place to sit since you canceled the newspaper to cut back on household expenses.

2. After you’ve met the new neighbors, you…
A. Can remember the names of their pets, but not the names of their kids.
B. Joke after they leave about their dog’s fancy collar and coat while adjusting your dog’s biker vest and Doggles.
C. Wonder if their pie chart looks like yours.

3. People know you have a dog just by looking inside your vehicle because…
A. All of the windows are “decorated” with nose prints and paw prints.
B. Chew toys, tennis balls, dog treats, leashes, water bowls and “dog doody pick up bags” litter the backseat.
C. You have to remove the blanket covering the passenger seat before allowing someone to sit there.

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Top Ten Reasons to Love a Cat

By Julia Williams

Ah, to love a cat. What’s not to love, really? Well for starters, there are those nights when you get up to use the bathroom and your bare feet step in something squishy. I don’t love my cats all that much in that moment. And then there are those days when they are naughty for no other reason than because they just want to see how red your face can get. But other than that, there are plenty of reasons to love a cat. One that won’t make my list, however, is the oft-used “they give you unconditional love.” I’m pretty sure my cats have at least one condition, which is that they be fed regularly. If I withheld their food for very long, I’m thinking they’d give their love to a neighbor without so much as a backward glance at me. But I digress. Here are my top 10 reasons to love a cat.

10. Cats are such good little helpers around the house. They keep the tub from getting water spots by licking it dry right after you shower. They make sure any crumbs that fall to the floor never need to be swept up. They help you decorate by re-arranging your knickknacks. They keep the coffee table free of clutter, and they make sure your bookshelf is always dusted (with a built in duster no less!).

9. Cats are always willing to give fashion advice. Case in point: the hilarious feline ‘Catfoodbreath’ posted my favorite tweet ever – “I napped on your outfit to keep you from leaving the house looking like someone who didn’t own a cat.” Having a cat also serves as a deterrent to wearing drab black too often. (Black pants are THE biggest fashion faux pas if you have a cat!).

8. Cats are remarkably self cleaning. There are very few good reasons to give your cat a bath, and considering how they react to being submerged in water, it’s not something you should be doing anyway.

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Maneki Neko, the “Lucky Cat” of Japan

By Julia Williams

As good luck charms go, the Maneki Neko is perhaps the cutest one of all. Of course, as a cat lover I am probably biased, but still – the friendly feline known around the globe as Maneki Neko is pretty darn adorable, don’t you think? Chances are, you’ve seen one of these little cat statues sitting at the entrance of your favorite Japanese or Chinese restaurant, or some other place of business. You might even have one displayed in your home. But while that sweet, smiling cat beckoning you with an upright paw might look modern, the Maneki Neko is actually an age-old custom that dates back several centuries, to Japan’s Edo Period (1603 to 1868).

What is the Maneki Neko?

The Maneki Neko is a popular Japanese sculpture that’s believed to bring good luck. Maneki Neko means “Beckoning Cat,” and it’s often called that and other names including Welcoming Cat, Lucky Cat of Japan, Money Cat, Fortune Cat and Prosperity Cat. The cat figurine, typically made of ceramic, is often placed by the front door of businesses and homes to welcome guests and attract wealth. Though the Maneki Neko originated in Japan, it’s now found worldwide and is a popular collector’s item.

Although I’ve seen many different interpretations of the Maneki Neko – including one that bears a striking resemblance to another Japanese icon, Hello Kitty! – they usually always have a red collar and red ears. Some have a bell on their collar, while others have a koban (a gold coin from the Edo Period.) Many also carry a scroll bearing the message “Please come in. You are welcome!”

Maneki Neko Symbolism

There are two versions of Maneki Neko, each with a different meaning. With its left paw raised, Maneki Neko welcomes customers and guests; with its right paw raised, Maneki Neko invites good luck and money. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with displaying both versions to cover all the bases!

Opinions differ on whether the Maneki Neko is a male or female, but most agree that the cat is a Japanese Bobtail. This ancient breed comes in many different colors, but the original Maneki Neko statues were calico, or mi-ke which means “three fur.”

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Diary of a Bad Housecat

By Rocky Williams

I would be the first to admit that I’m a bad, bad cat. Apparently when I was made, they were all out of the “good” attributes like self-control, willpower and obedience. All attempts by the Warden to train me have been futile, and I pretty much do what I want, with WHATEVER I want. I just can’t help it. Yeah, that’s my defense and I’m sticking to it.

When I see something I covet, I go after it with no thought to the consequences. Usually, what I want is the Warden’s food. It perplexes her, and she says things like “Rocky, I feed you two square meals a day, plus a handful of those scrumptious TidNips™ treats at bedtime – why do you always act like you’re starving?” Well…allow me to explain.

You see, I absolutely love my FELIDAE cat food, and those TidNips are the tastiest treats I’ve eaten in all my 8 years of cathood. But those things are for CATS, and I want what the Warden is having because it’s for people and thus, it’s forbidden. We all know that when something is forbidden, it becomes infinitely more desirable. It doesn’t matter what the Warden is eating, really; I stop at nothing to get my paws on it.

And that, my friends, is what led to the fateful day the Warden screamed the most awful sentence at me. “Rocky!! I don’t want to EVER see your face again!” she yelled. Oh my. I was in big trouble.

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Musings of an Animal Shelter Volunteer

By Kevin Hattori

My wife Tracey and I are often told that volunteering regularly at our local, no-kill animal shelter is “nice” and “selfless,” but we’d venture to say we get just as much – if not more – out of our experiences there than the cats with which we work.

I’ve been volunteering at the Pet Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for more than 13 years, and Tracey’s been doing so for about seven. We both feel the lessons and rewards that come from working with these incredible animals are exponentially greater than the time we’ve given.

People often ask what motivates us to spend every Saturday and Sunday afternoon socializing the cats of PAWS. Well, first of all, we’re huge proponents of adopting from shelters (something instilled in us from an early age). Growing up, all of our respective families’ pets were rescues, or from shelters. Our current cats Sammy and Moosey were both adopted from PAWS, and our Angel cats – Bitsy, Graphite, Lady Madonna, and Maggie – were all rescues, too.

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