International Cat Day

Every year on August the 8th International Cat Day is celebrated. These beloved and household and backyard companions are one of our most common and ancient pets. They provide us with so many benefits to our health and wellbeing that its only right we should pay them back in some small way.

Equally, the wild cats (whether a big cat like a Lion or Cheetah, or a small delicate Kodkod Cat) are important as an integral part of the natural world and its ‘balance of nature’. We surely need em!

International Cat Day ~ 8th August 2022
International Cat of Mystery

Photograph: © Ed

Location: Packwood House, Warwickshire, U.K.

The ‘holiday’ (hey, maybe it should be one!) was conceived and created by the animal rights organization ‘The International Fund for Animal Welfare‘ in 2002, in the hope that cat owners and fans wouldwide would begin to honour their fabulous furry friends. It is a day for us to raise awareness for cats (big and small, wild and domestic) and learn about ways to help and protect them.

In 2020 custodianship of International Cat Day passed to International Cat Care, a not-for-profit British organization that has been striving to improve the health and welfare of domestic cats worldwide since 1958.

As custodians, iCatCare has announced the theme for this year is Cat friendly resources. They teamed up with world-renowned animal artist and illustrator Lili Chin to design educational materials to help us humans make sure we’re providing cats with the essential resources they need to stay physically and mentally healthy in a cat friendly way.

Lili created some new feline faces to the initiative. The ambassador cats Domino and McTatters.

Domino & McTatters

Domino represents pet cats that live in a more traditional home environment whilst McTatters represents the unowned cats that will vary in the way they live and interact with humans (if choosing to at all). You can grab your resources on the icatcare.org website

Peace and Love to all Cats (and Humans) everywhere!

References:


https://icatcare.org/international-cat-day/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Cat_Day

Hashtags – #BeCatCurious & #InternationalCatDay

International Tiger Day

The International Tiger Day is observed every year on July 29 across the world in order to raise awareness for tiger conservation.

Founded in 2010, at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia after it was registered that 97 percent of tigers had disappeared, the day promotes a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers. The International Tiger Day is observed by several international organizations including – the World Wide Fund for Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the Smithsonian Institution.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, India is home to over half of the world’s wild tigers – 2,226. It reported that while Malaysia’s tigers are critically endangered with as few as 250 remaining, Indonesia’s wild tigers are now found solely on the island of Sumatra. The organization has also called for urgent action to protect the tigers.

Cat of the Month ~ July 2022
White Tiger

Photograph Source: a-panache.com

 

Globally, the day is celebrated by holding conferences, seminars, and discussions on saving the tigers.

Meanwhile, according to the National Tiger Conservation Authority, there were 1,059 tiger deaths in India since 2012 with Madhya Pradesh recording the highest number of deaths.

Congress on its official Twitter handle on Friday has urged people to come together and “enhance efforts for conservation of the endangered species.”

Article Source: extract written by Manjiri Sachin Chitre of the Hindustani Times Newspaper.


Did you know that this year is ‘The Chinese year of the Water Tiger’ and that it began on February 1st and will last until January 21st of 2023 when the Year of the Black Rabbit will begin. ‘Tiger’ is the third of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs, and its corresponding European Horoscope Zodiac sign is Aquarius.

 

The belling of the cat

It’s springtime, and those of us with a moggy or two think of helping the young birds in our gardens. Our cats like a portion of fast food from time to time (it’s just in their nature), so we try to help out if we can. By putting a bell collar on our cat we can give a birds a fair warning that somethings moving nearby – in this case a moggie on a mission. The stalking and final attack can be thwarted by the noisy jingle long before the final pounce.

It is amazing to find a reference to the ‘belling of a cat’ in an early poem: ‘Piers Ploughman’ by William Langland. This poem was written in or around 1377! Thats 1377 – I didn’t know they had pets back then!

Now, just you keep away from those birds!

Photograph: © Tambako The Jaguar on Flickr

 

The poem is said to be a significant work and is allegorical (meaning it is fictional but contains hidden meaning). In it, the poet falls asleep and has dreams and visions leading him to understand how to live a good life. So, of course, a verse or two mentioning a cat would be in there!

With that there ran a rout of rats at once,
And small mice with them more than thousand,
And came to a council for their common profit;
For a cat from the Court came when he liked
And o’er leaped them lightly and caught them at will,

Played with them perilously and pushed them about.
‘For dread of divers dangers we dare not look about;
If we grumble at his game he will attack us all,
Scratch us or clutch us and in his claws hold us,
So that we loathe life ere he lets us go.
Could we with any wit his will withstand
We might be lords above him and live at our ease.’

A rat of renown most ready of tongue
Said, as a sovereign help to himself:
‘I have seen men,’ quoth he ‘in the city of London
Bearing bright necklaces about their necks,
Some with collars of skilful work uncoupled they wander
Both in warrens and wastes wherever they like;

And otherwhile they are elsewhere as I tell you.
Were there a bell on their collars by Jesus, I think
Men might know where they went and get out of their way!
And right so,’ quoth that rat ‘reason me showeth
To buy a brass bell or one of bright silver
Make it fast to a collar for our common profit,
And hang it on the cat’s neck then we may hear

When he romps or rests or runneth to play.
And if he wants play then we may look out
And appear in his presence the while he play liketh,
And if he gets angry, beware and shun all his paths.’
All this rout of rats to this plan assented.
But though the bell was bought and on the collar hanged,
There was not a rat in the rout for all the realm of France
That dare bind on the bell about the cat’s neck,

Nor hang it round her ears all England to win;
They held themselves not bold and their counsel feeble,
Esteemed their labour as lost and all their long plotting.

Harvard Translation

Good luck to all who are going to put a bell collar on your cats this spring.

Belling the cat by an unkknown artist. mmm, I dont know what the rat’s up to…

Photograph: © Unknown, c/o The Mary Evans picture gallery

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN! On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONNER and BLITZEN! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!

Clement Clarke Moore

Clement Clarke Moore wrote Twas the night before Christmas in 1822. It is also known as ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’

Louis Wain, Cats in Dogland

Louis Wain was an English artist best known for his drawings, which often featured anthropomorphised large-eyed cats and kittens. However the scope of work was far wider than this. He was a true artist but combined this with an approach to the rendering of his art in a unique and unprecedented style.

Wain was born on the 5th August 1860, so lived to the good age of 79, passing away on 4th July 1939. His father was a textile trader and embroiderer; his mother was French. He was the first of six children, and the only male child. None of his five sisters ever married.

Annuals By Lois Wain
A selection of Wains Annuals, issued from 1905 to 1914 © Louis Wain

Wain was born with a cleft lip and the doctor gave his parents the orders that he should not be sent to school or taught until he was ten years old. In his later years he may have suffered from schizophrenia (although this claim is widely disputed among many specialists if this is true or not), which, according to some psychiatrists, can be seen in his works.

Shortears Began And Sung A Solo. Then All The Cats Joined And Sung The Chorus To Madame’s Satisfaction (1886) © Louis Wain/Chris Beetles Gallery London

As a youth, he was often truant from school, and spent much of his childhood wandering around London. Following this period, Louis studied at the West London School of Art and eventually became a teacher there for a short period.

Two Jugs Of Milk

At the age of 20, Wain was left to support his mother and his five sisters after his father’s death.

The Naughty Puss, and of course ….
… The Good Puss

Wain soon resigned from his teaching position to become a freelance artist, and in this role he achieved substantial success. He specialized in drawing animals and country scenes, and worked for several journals including the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, where he stayed for four years. He also worked for the Illustrated London News from 1886.

I am very happy because everbody loves me

Through the 1880s, Wain’s work included detailed illustrations of English country houses and estates, along with livestock he was commissioned to draw at agricultural shows. His work at this time includes a wide variety of animals, and he maintained his ability to draw creatures of all kinds throughout his lifetime. At one point, he hoped to make a living by drawing dog portraits, but he didnt need to …

Dogs In Catland © Louis Wain

Wain became one of the most popular commercial illustrators in the history of England. His cats, dogs and other animals captured the imagination of the Edwardian era and his work helped to promote domestic cats to unprecedented heights. Before Wain, cats in England were often thought of with contempt, but his work humanised them and helped to show them as something to be liked, admired and even loved.

Peter the Cat, Emilys friend sat in thegarden
Peter the Cat, Emilys friend sat in the garden

His illustrations were so popular that throughout the beginning of the twentieth-century most homes had at least one of his famous cat annuals and many nurseries had Wain posters hanging on their walls. “He made the cat his own” H.G. Wells once remarked. “…he invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world.” At the age of 23, Wain married his sisters’ governess, Emily Richardson, who was ten years his senior (which was considered quite scandalous at the time), and moved with her to Hampstead in north London. Emily soon began to suffer from breast cancer, and died three years into their marriage. Prior to Emily’s death, Wain discovered the subject that would define his career. During her illness, Emily was comforted by their pet cat Peter, a stray black and white kitten they had rescued after hearing him mewing in the rain one night.

Apple Tree Cats

Emily’s spirits were greatly lifted by Peter, and Louis began to draw extensive sketches of him, which Emily strongly encouraged him to have published. She died before this happened, but he continued to make cat sketches. He later wrote of Peter, “To him, properly, belongs the foundation of my career, the developments of my initial efforts, and the establishing of my work.” Peter can be recognized in many of Wain’s early published works.

See more of Wains Work here

If you wish to buy an original of Wains work then try the Chris Beetles Gallery

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Wain & other sources./p>

Other Illustrations by Wain using Pencil and Pen & Ink

The door of the Annual
A Cats Nightmare
A selection of Wains ‘Fractal Cat’ Illustrations
The Man Himself. Bringing Joy to so many, us included eh Osc.

Jacobo the Andean cat

Andean cats are rare and rarely seen. At last count it was reported that only 1,378 adults exist and those are scattered over more than 150,000 square kilometers (roughly 580,000 square miles) of highlands from northeastern Peru to Patagonia. So when Jacobo showed up there were a few puzzled faces in town.

Cat of the Month ~ December 2020
Jacobo, the beautiful Andean cat

Photograph: © https://news.mongabay.com/

 

Jacobo was spotted in the middle of a artificial grass football field in Bolivia, and he was far from anywhere that should have been home. Not knowing what else to do, local people put the Endangered cat in a birdcage to hand it over to authorities.

At first glance no bigger than a housecat, this feline had ended up such a distance from its usual haunts, high-up in the mountains of Chile, Argentina and Peru, that it was and still is, a mystery. However, this extraordinary circumstance gave conservationists a chance to learn about an animal they are dedicated to saving, but had rarely seen.

The Andean cat ranges from remote areas of central Peru to the Patagonian steppe. Perfectly adapted to extreme environments, this small feline is though threatened by habitat degradation and hunting.

Jacobo was lucky in that he was given to the Andean Cat Alliance, and instead of being kept captive, the members agreed there and then to forego the extraordinary opportunity to study the animal it had been gifted, and instead, try to return “Jacobo” to the wild.

Cordinators Rocío Palacios and Lilian Villalba orchestrated the multinational volunteer release effort. Jacobo was first examined to reveal no health problems. The conservationists then equipped Jacobo with a GPS collar in the hope that tracking his travels will reveal new data about this particular secretive cat, and others of his kind.

Andean cats are said to be a symbol of the Andes Mountains

Photograph: © https://news.mongabay.com/

Jacobo was released safe and sound in the Sajama National Park, in Bolivia. After the first few days of tracking his radio signal, he began venturing farther away from the release site.

Read the full story of Jacobo and the Andean Cat Alliance (AGA) on the Mongobay website.

The elusive Andean cat caught on camera trap. A stunning feline in a stunning location

Photograph: © Wildlife Conservation Network (link).