Caturday felid trifecta: Cops build condo for stray “SWAT cat”; blue cats; cat-friendly work desk (plus clouded leopard lagniappe)

From the Justsomething site, we here of a stray cat that repeatedly revisited a police department, so the cops christened it a “SWAT” cat and built her a condo!

It’s not a secret that most of the times people don’t get to choose their cat, but is the cat the one who chooses them, and the Boston [Massachusetts] Police Department’s SWAT Team is no exception. One day, a stray cat started to show up on a daily basis at their headquarters. They named her ‘SWAT Cat’ and she slowly became the police department’s mascot.

They fed her and took care of her, and she greeted them whenever they returned from a call. However, SWAT Cat had no intention to become an indoor cat, no matter how much they tried to keep her safe and comfortable inside their headquarters. She just wanted to live outside.

One day, officer Jamie Pietroski came up with the idea to build a cat condo for SWAT Cat. He stayed after work hours for several days, just to create a cozy home for the her. SWAT Cat’s very own pet condo has glass sliding doors, a large deck for outdoor activities, and a roomy studio layout inside.

The cat condo looks stylish and comfortable so it’s no surprise that SWAT Cat happily moved in immediately, and she can now live in a cozy home without giving up her life as an outdoor cat.

All’s well that ends well!



Clacton-on-the-Sea is in Essex, England, and there are reports from the BBC, the East Anglian Times, and the Essex County Gazette Standard of blue cats and dogs appearing. What apparently happened is that a fire in a local shed caused the incineration of sacks of blue ink powder, with the powder spreading in the wind and getting all over moggies and d*ggies. Here’s the burned-down shed:

Witold Juckiewicz, 69, from Coppins Road, claims he has been unable to leave his home following the incident.

Firefighters were called to a blaze involving a boat and a shed off Coronation Road on Tuesday, January 29, at about 8.54pm.

Mr Juckiewicz, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) along with his wife Doula, said he was shocked to see firefighters spray water straight on to the bags, exploding blue powder into the air.

It left nearby homes, fences, patios and roofs covered in blue powder and has coated the feet of passing cats and dogs.

The retired building engineer said: “I was in bed and heard an explosion and we thought it was fireworks. We heard another one five minutes later – and then heard fire engines.

“I looked out and saw fire men coming up and spraying the bags with the hose straight away – they didn’t seem to check at all.

“It was a big bag of dye – and it exploded into the air. They all looked like smurfs – there was about 15 of them.

Fortunately, the ink powder is said to be harmless.

The results (all photos by Terry Oliver):


From Cole and Marmalade’s site, we have the ideal desk for a cat owner. It’s called the CATable, and is manufactured by the Hong-Kong-based firm LYCS Architecture. No prices are given, and I don’t even know if it’s for sale, but wouldn’t you like to have one?:


It might keep your cat off your laptop, but it would also attract cats to your workspace, so it might be a tradeoff.


Lagnaippe: Reader Michael found this video of a beautiful clouded leopard cub (Neofelis nebulosa). It’s part of a breeding program, which I suppose justifies its captivity, but unless they release the results into the wild I’m not sure I like this.

I wish, though, that I could pet this cat and have it lick me as it licked the presenter, Steve Backshall.

h/t: Moto, Kevin


  1. BJ
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    That cat condo is just the sweetest thing. I’ve been trying to find a way to build something to shelter the stray cats that live around my house (they mostly take shelter under my deck and in my woodpile, the latter of which is covered by a tarp), but I want to make a shelter for them (preferably with some heating element, though that makes it even more unfeasible). Unfortunately, I’m not very handy and cant’ figure out how to build something that won’t be instead taken over by raccoons or other animals.

  2. John Dentinger
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I’m completely happy with the fact that blue powder sticks only to certain kinds of dog & cat hair.

  3. Nobody Special
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Re. the clouded leopard, there is little chance of successfully returning an animal such as this to the wild. Once it becomes used to the presence of humans it loses its natural fear of us, leaving it desperately vulnerable to hunters, and having food made available means that its hunting abilities are not allowed to develop*.
    If a return to the wild is the goal there should be minimal, if not zero contact with people from its birth, which unfortunately is nigh-on impossible in most captive environments.

    *I seem to recall a story from years ago about lion cubs being raised in captivity with the intent of releasing them into a large game reserve in Africa, possibly Kenya. To teach them how to hunt, carcasses of prey animals were tied to the back of a Land Rover, so the lions had to chase down their meals. Unfortunately, once the lions were released into the reserve they didn’t take to hunting live prey as per expectations, but instead continued in the habit of chasing down the vehicles driven by the park rangers, vehicles which were often filled with tourists which the lions obviously considered fair game, since they were used to their food being delivered by car.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    That Leopard’s skull is proportionally large compared to the slender body. Keeps the overall weight down for tree acrobatics I expect.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

      Yes, the clouded leopards are reputed to have the biggest teeth of all cats compared to overall size. I always wondered why, but you propose aplausible explanation: it’s not the teeth that are big, but the body that is small -for tree acrobatics. 🙂

  5. Mudskipper
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always thought it was interesting that the clouded leopard’s spots have shading that gives them a three-dimensional look. I assume that’s not by accident.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      I guess that very little in these highly specific patterns are by accident. Camouflage definitely plays a role. The ‘shadows’ of the cloud leopard definitely appear to reduce it’s apparent mass, not great to start with)
      I do not know if there has been any research into the functionality and effectivity of the different patterns of spotted and striped cat’s pelts in relation to their environment.
      (and of course, although I’m a bit skeptical in cats, sexual selection can never be dismissed).

  6. Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I like the CATable!

  7. Posted March 16, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I love the condo built by cops – what a lovely and loving initiative!

    I was relieved to learn that the blue dye is harmless.

    I love the cat-friendly furniture!

  8. rickflick
    Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Delightful cat stories today.

  9. BillyWindsock
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I do find it odd that an Emeretus Professor of Biology from Chicago is now aware of Clacton. I had many holidays there as a youngster, it seems so far away from modern life.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      I worked at the Clacton Butlins holiday camp in school holidays – around 1972/3 just before the Rank Organisation bought it – no longer exists – all boring housing now. Great times, the bits that I remember.

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