We have two optimistic articles about how you can train your cat to do nearly anything. The upshot: see what the cat likes to do, and then reward it for that! The first article, by Julie Hecht in Scientific American, is called “Cats would like you to know they are open to training.” The second, a post by Cari Romm in New York Magazine, is über-optimistically titled “You can train your cat to do your bidding.” It gives you some tips about training your moggie, and ends like this:
[And stay] patient. Animal trainer Samantha Martin, who runs the circus-cat act in the video [below] (it’s called Amazing Acro-Cats), has called cat training “a negotiation,” explaining: “Dogs are true professionals, but cats are more like employees who you would fire if they were people.” If you’re not going to fire ‘em, though, you might as well try and get them to do your bidding. Or something like it, anyway.
Here’s the video referred to, from National Geographic. Click on the screenshot to see The Amazing Acro-Cats, who do tricks on command (sort of. . . ). If you have trained your cat, please describe it in the comments.
Wine for cats? Wine not? They already have drugs (catnip), and in fact that’s the basis for this new cat beverage:
A company in Denver has produced a new brand of “wine” for cats, expertly marketed it at those of us who are suckers for both.
That’s right: You and your seven cats (I’m not insulting you; that’s how many I’m currently parenting) can now relax together with a little vino.
Apollo Peak all-natural cat wine may have started as a joke—at least according to its creator, Brandon Zavala—but it’s now retailing at a serious-enough $14.95 purr bottle. It’s important to note that it contains no alcohol—but it can still get your cat fucked up, since it contains kitty-drug-of-choice catnip, as well as the beets that make it red. Two formulations are currently available: the Pinot Meow and the MosCato.
You can buy the stuff here, and I’d love to see how cats react to this drink:
I know we have a fair number of readers who live in London, so for them—and the rest of us—I point you to the article on “London cats” from Little House of Cats. Two days ago I showed some pictures of the Art Deco building guarded by two cat statues, the Carreras Cigarette Factory in Camden Town, London, and here are a few more (go to the article for other felinia from London):
Hodge was one of the cats of author Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–1784). A bronze statue of Hodge by Jon Buckley stands in the courtyard outside Dr Johnson’s House (now a museum) at 17 Gough Square. Hodge is depicted sitting atop a copy of Johnson’s famous dictionary with a pair of oyster shells at his feet, and an inscription underneath which reads “a very fine cat indeed”.
The statue of Dick Whittington’s cat can be found surrounded by protective railings at the foot of Highgate Hill. Dick Whitting and his cat is an English folk tale of a poor boy in the 14th century who becomes a wealthy merchant and eventually the Lord Mayor of London because of the ratting abilities of his cat, Tommy.
Sam the cat is a playful statue at Queen Anne Square in Bloomsbury Square Gardens, depicting the feline about to jump off a wall onto the ground. It was donated by the local community in memory of nurse Patricia Penn (1914–1992), cat lover and champion of local causes. In the 1970s, Ms Penn campaigned to protect the area from developers and preserve historic buildings.
The Soho Hotel cat is a 3m (10ft) bronze sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero that dominates the lobby of the upscale hotel, in the heart of London’s entertainment district. The rotund feline demonstrates the artist’s trademark style of corpulent figures. As Botero explains: “An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.” The Soho cat is one of several the artist has done: other Botero cat sculptures are in Medellín, Colombia; Singapore; Barcelona; Yerevan, Armenia; and New York.
The Smithfield cat can be found on a column in the Priory Church of St Bartholemew the Great in West Smithfield. St Bartholomew’s was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1123. The Smithfield cat is located inside the south transept, just above and across from the bookstall. Much of St. Bartholomew’s interior predates the tradition of corbel heads on arches and pillars, so the cat is an unusual and unexplained ornament.
And a street piece by Banksy!
Ratapult is a street art piece on Whitecross Street in Islington by elusive Bristol artist Banksy. It shows a rat being catapulted into the air by a cat. The rat wears a cape (or has it sprouted wings?) to cleverly elude capture. The inspiration for this piece comes from a black-and-white photo of a cat and rat (though the rat in the photo is cape-less / wingless).