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Cats and Whisker Stress Bowl Versus Plate

Cat Whiskers Aid Navigation and Communication

We cats are super curious. We like to investigate and explore unusual places and spaces. Many times cat parents try to restrict the movement of their feline friends but it seems that a cat’s  curiosity only increases when they are denied access. You might have experienced this when a door is closed.  We cats like our options to remain open.

Thankfully nature equipped us with our whiskers as a tool to help keep us safe. Did you know that a cat’s whiskers are the same width as a cat’s body?  When the whiskers brush up against the sides of the entrance to a space, this acts as a warning that the space is too small.  Whiskers also help cats move stealthily in the darkness by preventing us from running into things.  Cat whiskers can detect changes in air currents and wind.

Cat Whiskers are Super Sensitive

A cat’s whiskers are super sensitive.   In fact,  the cat’s whiskers are so superbly programmed that if they move even 1/2000th of the width of a human hair, a signal is triggered and sent to the cat’s brain.  Cat experts think this could be the reason for a domestic cat’s need to always have their chow bowl filled to the top.

When the food level is too low, a cat is forced to put her face down into the bowl  causing her whiskers to brush up against the sides.  This whisker stress  might cause discomfort for your cat and  may explain why she is so adamant to have her bowl always filled.

Gracey in Thundershirt thinking about Whisker Stress

My whiskers will be stressed if I try to nibble my kibble.

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10 Little Things My Parents Love About Me

Today my parents were working away cleaning and carrying on and I was feeling a little neglected. After a couple of hours, I had to put my paw down.  I walked into the office and  meowed with all my might. They both stopped dead in their tracks and looked at me. I was like, well, are you going to pay attention to me?

So my mom came over and scooped me up into her arms and my dad scratched me behind my ears.  Then we came out into the kitchen, and I got a treat.  They even  let me sit at the counter with them.  Then they told me how special I am and how much they love me.  I started to purr because then I knew we were going to play a game that always makes me feel better. They make a list of some of the little things that they love about me. Here is what they said today.

Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger

10 Little Things My Parents Love About Me.

  1. The way I wrinkle my nose  up when I am eating my dinner
  2. The “crunch crunch crunch” sound I make when I am chomping my treats.
  3. When I chat with them.  I am quite talkative.
  4. How I curl up on the sofa slanket and put my paw on their hands.
  5. When I curl up on their bathrobes and refuse to move so they can use them.
  6. When I come running and meowing to the door when they return home.
  7. My mom likes it when I come to get her at the end of the work day. Enough is enough and I tell her so by placing both of my paws on her leg and very gently extend my claws.
  8. My dad likes it when I trot beside him with my tail up and curled on our way to the kitchen for our tea time.
  9. They really love my whiskers. When they find one somewhere in the house, they pick it up and place it in a special box.
  10. When I give them the slow blinks.  That is how I tell them I love them too,

What is a little thing that you love about your cats that share your habitat?

Cat Obituary. Farewell Eastern Cougar

 

Eastern cougar

Cat Obituary. Farewell Eastern Cougar

The Eastern Cougar, a subspecies of one of North America’s largest cats, was declared extinct by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)  on March 2, 2011,  after  a very  long and protracted review process. The USFWS gathered information on the elusive cat subspecies from both scientists and government authorities in the 21 states where the eastern cougar, also known as the eastern puma once lived.  The private Eastern Cougar Foundation spent a decade looking for evidence and  after finding none, changed its name to the Cougar Rewilding Foundation.

The historic distribution of the cougar was across lower Canada in the north, all the way to Patagonia, South America. The  highly adaptable big cat was the most widely distributed land mammal in the Western Hemisphere. It could be found in tidal marshes, deserts, mountainous terrain and deciduous, coniferous and tropical forests. But the expanding human population reduced their distribution and they did not adapt well to areas with conflicting land uses.

The eastern cougar once roamed from Maine to South Carolina and as far west as Michigan and Tennessee. They were agile for such a big cat.  The cougars had long slender bodies and small heads with short rounded ears.  They sported a beautiful  tawny coat, usually  brownish red or grayish brown, that would be more tan in the summer months and more gray in the winter. Their muzzle, chin, and underbelly were a beautiful creamy white.  They had a distinctive black tip on their tails and black coloring behind the ears, and at the base of their whiskers.

The eastern cougar was a solitary and territorial hunter whose  job was to thin the deer herd through direct predation. The big cat was a “natural shepherd” forcing deer to be more vigilant and stop grazing like cattle so that the forest would have a chance to regenerate. There are no other species available to take over the eastern cougar’s position as a top-level predator. This leaves behind ecological consequences, including a population explosion of white -tailed deer and the Eastern forests in declining health.

The USFWS decision to declare the eastern cougar extinct does not affect the current status of the Florida Panther, another wild cat subspecies that is endangered.  The Florida panther once roamed throughout the southeastern United States but now exists in less than 5% of its historic range. There are only an estimated 120-160 cats remaining in southwestern Florida.

Preparations are being made to remove the eastern cougar from the endangered species list, since extinct animals are not eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The eastern cougar was considered a distinct subspecies, although it is now believed they had the same genetics as their western relatives.   It is highly unlikely that there will be any attempt to reintroduce cougars to the eastern states, the required habitat is just not available .

The announcement of the extinction was made quietly and  the cougar was put to rest without a ceremony. And that is fitting I suppose for a cat so elusive it was given the nickname “ghost cat”.  Researchers believe the subspecies has  been extinct since the 1930’s and was listed as an endangered species in 1973.

Even though the extinction conclusion was not  unexpected, the official declaration of extinction,  the acknowledgment that the big cat is gone forever still hurts.

 

Eatern Cougar Extinct Getty file

Petties Winner Badge

The Tiniest Tiger’s Valentine Imitation

Happy Valentine’s Week-end Friends!

I am presenting you with my The Tiniest Tiger’s Valentine  Imitation.

I know it is the week end and you like to take it easy so I apologize for making this one so rough on you.

Take your time and try to decide if I (me, Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger) am on the left or on the right.

Both Tigers are snuggled up with a Friend, have nice whiskers, pink noses with a little stain, and are smiling.

Super tough.  Take your time.


The Tiniest Tiger Imitation Tuesday! Whoa!

Friends, I bet you are super confused right now.  I mean I have really outdone myself haven’t I?

There is no way you will be able to tell which is me, Gracey, The Tiniest Tiger and which is our big cat Tiger cousin.  We have the same exact teeth!  You can try to count them but you will get the same number so that is no help.  We have the same whiskers, pink noses with black markings, even the same wrinkles above our noses.  Boy oh boy!  You will really need to take your time and do your best thinking.  Don’t hurt yourselves.  Save some energy to get out and vote today!!

I am patient, so I will wait, stalking the page to see who will be able to tell us apart.