Caturday felids: Slo-mo kittens; a Japanese grandmother and her beloved cat; checking your cat’s DNA (and lagniappe)

If there’s anything better than kittens, it’s kittens in slow motion. Here’s a short video showing the world’s cutest domestic animal:


About 5½ years ago I posted a few pictures from this series, which at that time was on BuzzFeed. Now, from Bored Panda, we have photos from the same series. They were taken by Japanese photographer Miyoko Ihara, and feature her grandmother Misao and her grandmother’s cat.

Eight years ago, though, Misao found a wonderful companion – an odd-eyed kitten that found his way to the shed.

The 88-year-old woman named him Fukumaru, which translated from Japanese roughly means “a circle of good fortune”. Misao and her odd-eyed feline friend have been doing everything together ever since. The woman still goes out into the fields every day, and Fukumaru follows her every step. They eat, rest, water the plants and do their chores together.

Seeing that the strong bond and love between the two shines out of every photo, Miyoko published a hard cover portrait album, called “Misao the Big Mama and Fukumaru the Cat

The book gets 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and you can see why. The photos almost make you weep with joy!

Miyoko Ihara has a website with more photos of the pair, as well as other pictures. And if you want to see a bazillion photos of Misao and Fukumaru, go to this Google image search.


An article from Lifehacker reports that if you swab your cat’s cheek, take a fur sample, and send these specimen to a firm called “Basepaws” with a $95 payment, they promise to tell you all sorts of information about your cat: breed, ancestry, likelihood of having a catnip reaction, and ancestry.  So far, though, all they can give is breed (American shorthair to the reporter) and ancestry (puma). The former you already know, and the puma ancestry is bogus, as we know that all domestic cats find their closest living relative in the subspecies Felis silvestris lybica, the African wildcat. I wouldn’t waste my money on this.  For the same amount of dosh you can get a much better report on your own DNA from firms like 23 and Me.


Lagniappe: If you like Downton Abbey (and I’ve watched a bit from time to time, as I’m smitten with Lady Mary), you might appreciate this funny article from a 2014 New Yorker (click on screenshot):

An except:

So my cats and I were watching “Downton Abbey” last year. (I have two cats, one girl cat, who is twelve—in cat years, obviously—and a boy cat, who is seven.) And at one point my younger cat turned to me and said, “What is that human woman trying to say to that other man?”

And I said, “That is Mary Crawley. She is trying to tell Matthew that she is in love with him.”

And my younger cat thought about it and said, “Well, that is a very hard thing to do.” And then he said, “You have to pick just the right time.”

Then my older cat turned to him and said, “will you be quietplease?”

Here’s another story.

I was watching “Downton Abbey” with my cats, and in one episode Anna (a human on the show) tells her fiancé, Mr. Bates, not to worry about her, because she is “a trouper.”

And my younger cat turned to me and said, “What’s a ‘trouper’?”

I had to think about it. I explained to my younger cat that a trouper is someone who has a job that isn’t easy or fair, and he doesn’t want to do it, but he is going to do it anyway.

And then a long time passed—whole scenes of “Downton Abbey” strolled elegantly by—before my younger cat said quietly, to himself, “Sometimes I am a trouper.”

Adorable, right? Cats say the darnedest things.

Even more lagniappe:

h/t: Matthew, Michael, Merilee, Alexandra


  1. BJ
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    That Fukumaru seems like such a cool dude. I wonder why his servant is taking a gourd bath…?

    Downton Abbey has a better cat version called Downton Tabby. It’s a very cute little book and makes a great gift for anyone who is interested in both cats and very British TV period shows:

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Because she needed to gourd her loins?

      • BJ
        Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink


  2. Allen Linville
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the person is a “trouper”, as in a member of a musical troupe or a “trooper”, a private in a cavalry troop?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      When speaking of someone’s determination to carry on it’s “trouper”

  3. Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    So what happens if you swab inside your cat’s mouth and send it to 23 and Me? Hmmm.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Oddly, exactly the same question occurred to me.
      Boringly, they’ll probably send you a dull legalese letter approximating to “don’t do that, and no, you can’t get a free test because we already had to do essentially all the work requested to determine that it’s non-human DNA.”
      There is potential for a good April-Fool reply there though. Copies of illustrations from “CatMan” ; descriptions from “Invasion of the Cat People”; “hair colour : calico” that sort of thing.

      • Posted April 6, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Perhaps the black helicopters will arrive at your home soon to see what this CatMan is all about.

        But, only slightly more seriously, my guess is that their response is one of these two possibilities: (a) “Your sample didn’t contain enough human DNA for us to sequence it.” or (b) there was incidentally enough of some human’s DNA, probably the person who prepared the cat sample, and that’s what they base the report on.

  4. David Coxill
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    According to one of the Vets who i have taken Misha to ,he has a bit of Burmese in him ,would like to find out if it is true .

    Love the story of the Japanese lady and her cat .

    • nicky
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      The cat and her Japanese lady, you should get things right.

  5. Posted March 31, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Sweet! ❤️👍🐈

  6. Pablo
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Why is the lady bathing with fruit?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 31, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      For the winter solstice Japanese traditionally bathe with fruit – mainly Japanese varieties of citrus fruits, but also garlic & ginger. For outdoor hot springs the fruit is often floating in net bags.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted March 31, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never seen a cat with heterochromia. What a delightful pair.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted April 6, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure this is not the first such to be features on this site. I think there have been a number of “science posts” on the various detailed forms of it.

  8. Posted March 31, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I like that grandmother’s cat very much.

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