Caturday felids: Reader’s cat wins a beauty contest, rescued Pallas kitten, monumental brick kitty

Reader Deb Trombley sent a photo of her cat and news of its prize-winning beauty. Her news:

My cat Skipper won a local beauty contest.  When I told him he was almost trounced by a chicken, he was incredulous.  Now he’s afraid the sky is falling.

Proof of the incredulity, and the winning photo:


The Siberian Times has a winsome story of the rescue of a Pallas’s cat kitten. (Readers here may remember that the fluffy, short-eared Pallas’s cat, Otocolubus manul, is my favorite wild felid.) The kitten, named Dasha, was found in an empty train car east of Lake Baikal. When the car was unwittingly moved, the mother abandoned the kitten, but it emerged, was rescued, and then brought up with hand feeding. Here are some pictures and text:

Scientists had to play the role of Dasha’s mother, massaging her stomach after each meal, and keeping a hand on the kitten’s back to help her fall asleep in a den made out of a cardboard and an old fur hat.

Their efforts paid off and Dasha grew into a curios [sic] and healthy kitten.

‘Her eye colour changed from blue to yellow just before she was two months old.

‘In the middle of June she went outside for the first time, and immediately ran back inside, to her humans, because she got too scared’, said Vadim Kirilyuk, the reserve’s director.

‘She was about 45-50 days old, which is exactly when Pallas’s cat mother would have taken her kittens  out.

‘However, hard it was for us to copy a wild animal, we had to teach Dasha to get used to wild life.

‘Without such lessons she would not have a chance to learn how to live independently later.’

The scientific team’s ambition is to make sure that Dasha can be let back into the wild despite starting her life with humans, which can be a very tricky task given she never had a ‘proper’ wild training.

Vadim [Kirilyuk, director of the reserve], who has been documenting Dasha’s progress from day one, said: ‘After three months of constant care and worries the day has come to say that young female Pallas’s cat Dasha will be free, but still supervised.

‘She is not ready to live on her own yet.’



Finally, from the Atlas Obscura, we have “Monumental Kitty”, a sculpture in Detroit:

Wide-eyed and perky-eared, the brick sculpture known as Monumental Kitty has been charming drivers since 2010. It was installed by the local artist Jerome Ferretti, who once earned his stripes as a journeyman bricklayer before venturing into fine arts.

The cat was intended to enliven an otherwise ho-hum stretch at the edge of the Corktown neighborhood. Convinced that the overlooked median could use a little love, local residents enlisted Ferretti and crowdfunded the money to bring the kitty to life.

Passersby sometimes pull over and scramble to stand on the cat’s domed head. Out of the ground rise a tail and a paw, the latter outfitted with nails made from strips of stone.

If you want to see the Monumental Kitty, the site says it’s “beneath the pedestrian bridge near Cochrane Street and I-75. If you want approach the cat on foot, your best bet is to pull over into one of the lots on the West Fisher Service Drive.”

h/t: Dianna, Paul


  1. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 15, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Truly a trifecta today! Love ’em all.

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted September 15, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink


    • Diane G
      Posted September 15, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


    • Heather Hastie
      Posted September 15, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      + 3!

      Congratulations Deb. Your kitty is very cute!

      And that Pallas Cat kitten is sooooo adorable. I can’t get enough of him.

  2. Mark R.
    Posted September 15, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Why the eye-color change? Interesting.

    Skipper is a beautiful cat…love the name too!

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 15, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      All kittens have blue eyes. I asked Mrs. Google & it’s because that’s the reflected colour of the outside layers & later on the the pigment responsible for the permanent eye colour is deposited [whatever that means – it’s all very ‘hand wavey’ on the internetz].

      Mrs. Google also says adult cats with blue eyes often/always[?] have hearing problems.

      • Mark R.
        Posted September 15, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Thanks to you and Mrs. Google for the added info.

  3. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted September 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Somehow I always thought those manuls were bigger, like a lynx. Now I realise they’re tiny.

  4. BJ
    Posted September 15, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    The Pallas’s cat is so unique! I’ve never seen anything like it. Just look at this picture from the Wikipedia link:

  5. Posted October 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I bet that Prof. Coyne would want the custody of Dasha.

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