A Russian farmer stumbled upon a squirming, mewling bundle of fluff hidden in his barn: four unusual-looking kittens, so young they hadn’t even opened their eyes. When their mother didn’t come back, the farmer took the kittens in; they wouldn’t survive much longer on their own.
Upon closer inspection of the tiny, spotted balls of fluff, the farmer realized they were not ordinary house cats. He reached out to the Daursky Nature Reserve for help. Their team identified that the strange-looking kittens as Pallas’s cats also called Manuls (maybe “The Ewoks of the Cat Family” should be added to the list).
Pallas’s cats are elusive wildcats native to Central Asia, sometimes referred to as "small ghost cats of the mountains.” They’re about the size of your average domestic cat, but they’ve got one of the most expressive faces in the animal world. They’re also extremely rotund.
“I’m not fat. It’s just fluff!”
Back at the Daursky Nature Reserve, the four orphaned wildcats were placed with two domestic cats, who quickly adopted them as their own. These furry surrogate moms helped to socialize the wildcats while also teaching them the essentials of “how to cat.”
It’d be difficult not to get attached to kittens as expressive and comical as Pallas's Cats.
But the wildcats’ caregivers knew the importance of releasing the cats to their natural habitat. When the four healthy Pallas’s cats came of age, their caregivers returned them to their natural home where they continue to successfully survive and thrive.
Pallas cats are listed as “near threatened,” with a declining population due to habitat loss, being hunted for their pelts (despite hunting and fur-trade bans), and the mass poisoning of their main prey source, pikas, small rodents that are considered pests.
Supporters of the Pallas’s cat have started international campaigns to study the ecology of this notoriously elusive feline” in hopes that they can find ways to stabilize the declining population before it’s too late for these comically gorgeous creatures.
Cortney Licata [h/t Life With Cats]
Meet Hema, a stray pit bull rescued from the streets of Washington, D.C., who turned out to be the best darn kitten caretaker this side of the Mississippi.
The blue-eyed, pink-snouted pup has helped her forever family (adopters Marissa Clingen and Robin Seegers) to foster over 20 cats and kittens.
She spends her days doting on her kittens, wanting nothing more than to be by their side every moment, whether it’s to shower them with kisses, cuddles, or simply watch over her very strange-looking puppies (as any good mother does).
“All she wants to do is lick and snuffle them,” Clingen told The Dodo. “Who would have thought a stray D.C. pit bull with scars on her face would be a good kitten mother?”
Though Hema’s forever family will never know what Hema went through as a stray, she bears the scars of a difficult life. She came into the Humane Rescue Alliance covered in “many, many bite wounds,” according to Alix Tolley, a spokesperson for the shelter.
But whatever abuses or attacks she may have suffered in the past, Hema has not let it stop her from taking on the truly loving, affectionate role of mother for the orphaned kittens so in need of her care.
Hema’s extra cuddly attentions play a crucial role in socializing the kittens for a successful adoption. Hema helps the kittens learn how to live and get along in a home, especially a home with other animals.
Clingen recalls a sickly little kitten named Muffin, who, for a while, didn’t look as though he would make it. But the kitten pulled through, thanks to Clingen and Hema’s care and dedication. "Hema would lick his pathetic, crusty face and they would snuggle in her bed," says Clingen.
"It truly brings tears to my eyes," says Tolley. "The fact that she can still be so loving to those kittens shows the resilience of these animals."
When the time comes for the kittens to go to their adoptive families (hopefully their forever families), Clingen shares that it can be sad to say good-bye. "I just try to remember where they would be if I hadn't fostered them,” Clingen says.
As hard as it is to say good-bye, Clingen knows that she and Hema can continue to provide help and care for even more kittens. Especially as kitten season is right around the corner -- that time of year when tons of new kittens are born and the shelters are flooded with newborn kittens in need of foster care -- and forever homes. That's why Meowingtons is sponsoring a Free Cat Adoption Day at our local Humane Society!
Interested in fostering some kittens or puppies yourself?
Check out the Humane Society's Foster Care Program or check with a local shelter near you to find out more information!
Cortney Licata | [h/t Shareably & The Dodo]
The terrified tabby clings to the 14-year-old boy who jumped into oncoming traffic to save his life.
Sunday, February 12th, was a day like any other for Erin Brown as she drove her 14-year-old son, Gavin, to a birthday party. They were on a busy highway overpass when, horrifyingly, the moving vehicle in front of them rolled down a window and carelessly threw a cat onto the highway, directly into the path of oncoming traffic.
Brown slammed on the brakes. They watched, horrified, as the cat scrambled towards the edge of the overpass, shredding its claws as it struggled to grip the rough asphalt.
Gavin jumped from their car the moment it stopped, signaling for oncoming cars to slow down. "Not sure which I'm in more shock of,” Brown said, “The cat being thrown out a window of a moving vehicle … Or my son flying out of my car onto the highway … to rescue a cat."
The 14-year-old risked his life as he darted after the terrified cat as it clung to the side of the overpass. He got there just in time, scooping up the tabby just as it jumped over the edge, pulling it back to safety.
“He cuddled right into Gavin's arms,” Brown said. “Gavin held him tightly and just kept petting him to show him that we wouldn't hurt him.”
The traumatized tabby cat was aptly named Lucky and taken to BluePearl Animal Hospital to be treated for his injuries. Lucky was breathing heavily, badly bruised and his claws had been torn off from the rough pavement.
Gavin was by Lucky’s side every step of the way as he underwent treatment. “Gavin was not letting go of his new baby,” Brown said. “The bond was instant.”
A Good Samaritan discovered their story through Facebook and offered to cover a large portion of Lucky’s medical expenses. Overwhelmed, Gavin also offered all the money he had, a grand total of $63, to help pay for Lucky’s rescue. “My heart just swelled with gratitude," Brown said, no doubt proud of such a compassionate son.
Lucky is making a full recovery in the care of his new family and enjoying his new forever home, becoming “the sweetest” cat Brown has met so far.
“He is so mellow and playful and just plain loveable,” Brown said. “Lucky is well aware that Gavin saved him, and their bond is one I just can’t describe.”
Gavin has always been a big-hearted animal lover with dreams of becoming a veterinarian; Lucky’s rescue has inspired him to make that dream a reality.
Please share this story with friends and family or leave a comment.
And if you're inspired by Gavin's brave actions, you can help kitties in need by donating to a local shelter, like the Humane Society.
Meowingtons has partnered with the Humane Society of Broward County in efforts to provide as many kitties as possible with forever homes!
Written By: Cortney Licata
[ h/t to Shareably & LoveMeow - Images by Erin Brown via LoveMeow ]
It’s no secret: Cats have taken over the Internet.
The World Wide Web has become a giant cardboard box for the kitty-cat collective, serving as the perfect conduit for their (admittedly adorable) machinations. It was only a matter of time before they clawed their way into the business world just as easily as they clawed their way into out hearts.
But there’s a silver lining to this fuzzy takeover: These cats are here to help us get on with the daily grind. Or maybe they’ve been in the office, all along, just … hanging in there … waiting for right moment.
And now, for the understatement of the century: Work is stressful.
It’s said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. An idea that looks good on paper, sure, and it sounds even better. And for most of us, perhaps, it’s an ideal towards which to strive.
But we all know that some days, for one reason or another, we’re just doing what we can to get to the next coffee break.
But the kitty-cat collective is here to remind you to stop and smell the roses. Ignore the annoying, prickly thorns for a moment; you can always prune them back later.
The next time you feel like going all “Fight Club” in the office, even after that corporate retreat …
Take a beat, take a breath, and think of these fluff balls as your own personal, digital stress ball. Release all that pent-up frustration into a big, cathartic “Aww!” as you gaze longingly at a kindle of kittens just doing what they do best: being kittens.
Or just, you know, take a page from the Book of Cat and take a nice nap for, like, 16 hours a day. That’s probably fine.
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day: a day full of history, tinged with myth, magic, and gallons of green beer.
Besides wearing green and pretending to be Irish for the day, there’s that guy, good ol’ Saint Patrick, who shook his stick and banished of all the snakes on the Emerald Isle. And don’t forget about those stingy leprechauns sitting on pots of gold at the rainbow’s ephemeral edge.
“ 'They’re always after me lucky charms.’ There, I said it. Can I take this off now?”
Celtic folklore has always been imbued with a sense of magic and mystery, especially when it comes to cats.
The King of Cats
Cait Sidhe, pronounced “caught shee,” and translating to “fairy cat”, were said to be the King of Cats. They were thought to be mythical, fairy-like creatures who took the form of large, all-black cats with a white patch on their chests.
These mythical moggies were more fairy than cat, fearsome felines who could steal the souls of the dead if the family didn’t distract them with riddles designed to stump the curious cat mind; But they could also bring blessings.
"Boop. This dog is bless."
On the night of Samhain (a Celtic festival similar to Halloween), if you left a saucer of milk out for the fairy cat, your house would be blessed. If no milk was left for the mysterious black cat, you would be cursed and all your cows' milk would dry up.
Lady Francesca Wilde, mother to none other than Oscar Wilde, wrote about Cait Sidhe, calling them the King of Cats. “A most important personage in feline history is the King of the Cat,” writes Lady Wilde. He is a cat who has “genuine claims to royalty” despite having the appearance of a rather “common looking fellow.”
Artist: Eldar Zakirov
Lady Wilde spun a tale about an old woman who gave shelter to a black cat and her two kittens. She let the three cats warm themselves by the fire and fed them a saucer of milk, to which the mother cat said, "You have been very civil to me, and I'll not forget it to you."
With that, the black cat and her kittens ran up the chimney, never to be seen again. But in their stead, they left the woman a piece of silver, more silver than she could ever make in a month.
The Black Bog Cat
Or, as I keep calling it, The Black Blog Cat.
Black Bog Cats are mysterious creatures who prowl the boglands and peat marshes of Ireland. Unlike the superstition that paints black cats as omens of misfortune, if you come across a Black Bog Cat in Ireland, you will be granted great wealth and happiness. Small sculptures crafted from the very turf these Bog Cats are said to prowl are sold in many stores to grant luck to travelers!
The Calico Cure
An old Irish wives’ tale claims that if you’ve got a wart on ye olde foot, just rub it on the nearest calico cat's tail: instant Wart-Be-Gone!
Sláinte! Have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day! And maybe Tweet or Instagram us (@meowingtonsco or #meowingtons on Insta) cute pictures of your cats dressed up in some St. Paddy's Day Cait Sidhe #swag.
If there’s any time for women entrepreneurs to prevail it’s now. I won’t be bullied into submission over something I’ve worked so hard for.
Being involved in a lawsuit is irritating and at times distracting. Rather than let Mr. Zimmerman’s harsh and undignified comments get me down, I am instead re-energized to continue building my business, serving loyal customers and the larger Meowingtons.com community to make it even better with more cat-themed fashions, accessories and pet products than ever before. I want this matter to serve as an example to encourage every woman business owner to stand up for themselves, especially now when women’s rights and equality are the in public eye during Women's History Month.
I also don’t want to lose sight of what’s important at hand here. I started meowingtons.com as a place for cat lovers to unite, share, and most importantly laugh over the undeniably hilarious creatures we call cats. I’ll be even more energized through this ordeal if cat lovers would come together and create more life-changing bonds between humans and cats by supporting the Humane Society and all the hard work of its volunteers who have dedicated their lives to saving animals and finding them forever homes.
Community support is really appreciated via sharing this post, leaving a comment, and if you’d like, donate to the Humane Society here:
- Emma Bassiri
It's the First Day of Spring! It's time to dig yourselves (and your cats) out of the snow.
Get ready to bask in the warm, blissful rays of the sun and greet the flowers as they fill the air with the sweet perfume of spring.
O, listen to the birdsong that heralds the dawn of new, green life ... What? Why are you looking at me like that?
"It's still snowing," you say? What do you mean, "There was a blizzard, Harry!"
... Oh. I've got photos for that! Let's see here ... Ah, yes. Here's a nice collection of frosty felines who are ready to set Mother Nature on "Defrost."
I call this the "You know nothing, Jon Snow" face.
It's all fun and games until someone builds a satirical snowcat that makes you reevaluate your life choices.
The "It took me 10 minutes to squeeze into all these layers and now I have to pee" face.
So much for spring. At least it's still scarf season, I guess.
"Maybe the human will stop dressing me in humiliating sweaters."
Good luck with that one, Pillo! Thanks to @glosunpro for the photos!
(Psst, check out more of our fabulous FRANDS
and maybe even tag us on Insta to be featured!)
"Outside? Never heard of it."
Who needs to go outside when you've got the purrfect purrito right here at home?
The littlest nope to ever nope.
"Build a snow angel," they said. "It'll be fun," they said.
Even the biggest of fluffs are ready to be done with all this cold.
Hell has frozen over. And I am in it.
So ... Are you ready to bring on spring?
Written By: Cortney Licata
You know the hundreds of pictures of your cat sleeping you have on your phone? The ones taking up all the memory? Taking all those pics is worth it, if only to capture these once-in-a-lifetime moments of hilarity.
Some people wait a lifetime for a meowment like this.
You've heard of UFOs. But what about UFFs? (Unidentified Flying Felines)
"Sharing is caring, Karen."
You know what they say about curiosity and the cat ...
"Get ready, human, here me come!"
DIY on a Budget: Nyan Cat Edition.
Death by kitten hugs? There are worse ways to go.
A face all cat parents make at least once a day.
Art imitates life.
Keep calm and cat on.
Now you're thinking with Portals. (Also, the cake is a lie.)
"I must go. My people need me."
Yet another unrealistic body standard for cats.
"I meowstache you a question. But I'll shave it for later."
Teamwork makes the dream work, I guess?
Written By: Cortney Licata
Meet seven-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw and her best friend, Thula.
Iris Grace is an incredibly talented young artist who has struggled with communication, social interaction and expressing affection from a young age. Thula is her therapy cat – but she’s also so much more. Thula is Iris’ constant companion, her best friend, and a guide to help her navigate a challenging world.
When Iris was diagnosed with autism in late 2011, her parents sought activities that would help Iris to comfortably and more effectively express herself.
They discovered Iris Grace had an amazing talent for painting, vividly capturing the world from her unique perspective. Her work has been likened to that of Monet.
Iris’ parents also looked into finding Iris a therapy animal. They tried horses, dogs, even other cats, but Iris didn’t seem to connect with any of them. Exasperated and ready to admit defeat, it wasn’t until Iris connected with a friend’s cat that her mother realized she “just hadn’t found the right animal yet.”
That is, until they found Thula.
Thula is a Maine Coon, a breed of cat known as “gentle giants” for their size and affectionate disposition.
The connection between the two was almost immediate. “Ever since we came home with Thula, this precious, magical kitten has cast a spell over Iris,” Arabella Carter-Johnson, Iris’ mom, writes.
“They sit beside each other as Iris paints, and new doorways to communication have been opened, doors we had previously feared might be locked forever.”
With Thula ever at her side, Iris has become more verbal and expressive. “Thula has lowered [Iris’] daily anxieties in life and keeps Iris calm,” writes Arabella. “But equally has the effect of encouraging her to be more social. She will talk more to Thula, saying little phrases like ‘sit cat.’”
Iris Grace disliked the feel of certain textures, such as clothing and water, and often felt uncomfortable wearing clothes, bathing and even sleeping.
But Thula was there to help, happily getting into the tub with Iris and letting Arabella shampoo her fur to help encourage Iris. Thula faithfully, patiently listens while Iris Grace chats and tells her all about sea creatures during bathtime.
“Whatever activity we are doing Thula is there and wants to help and be involved,” Arabella Carter-Johnson said.
“Waterplay, playdoh, painting, bike rides, iPad, puzzles, marble run, drawing… she offers Iris her companionship, friendship and supports me in encouraging Iris to interact.”
Though cats aren’t immediately thought of as therapy animals, Thula turned out to be the cat, the companion, and the dearest friend Iris Grace needed. Even some of this talented young girl's paintings seem to show the impact Thula has had and the depth of their special bond.
Can you see Thula's face in the painting above?
For more on Iris Grace and Thula's story, check out their Facebook.
Do you know of someone who has a cat as their therapy animal? Let us know!
Written By: Cortney Licata
All photos thanks to IrisGracePainting
h/t to BoredPanda
A UK couple grieving the sudden loss of their cat, Bear, discovered that he had been leading a double life when they received a heartwarming note from a complete stranger.
This is Bear.
TravUK of Reddit shared Bear’s bittersweet story: “One of our cats passed away two weeks ago. Today we found this note on his brother’s collar.”
"Dear Owner; I'm your neighbour, living in 4. I'm also your cats' close friends as they (2 cats) are used to coming to my room everyday. But one of them, a bigger one has disappeared for two weeks. Is he ok? I'm so worried about him. He is so lovely cat and always touched my heart. Wish he is fine. - Y.T. 2/March/2017."
Teddy (left) and Bear (right)
Bear’s owner dropped a letter through the neighbor’s letterbox, wanting to tell them as soon as possible that Bear had passed. He also included his e-mail address so they could communicate without using Teddy as the messenger.
He woke the next morning to a lengthy e-mail from the neighbor detailing how they loved every moment they spent with the two cat brothers, especially Bear. She even attached a few pictures of the duo being “naughty” at her house.
Bear’s admirer is a Taiwanese exchange student studying at a nearby university.
“He was just like an angel for me,” she wrote, saying that Bear would come to her house every afternoon and keep her company. Sometimes he would come over just to sleep on her sofa, and his snoring helped keep her awake and focused on her work.
She shared how Bear would sit on her bed and listen as she practiced her presentations for university. “He was a good listener when I needed a "person” to help me [practice],” she wrote. “He entirely touched my heart. I miss him so much.”
TravUK said the neighbor visited Bear’s grave in their garden and laid flowers in his memory.
“It was so painful. But hearing how much joy he has given to a neighbour as well as to us is really heartwarming,” TravUK wrote. “Makes you proud that he could brighten up more than just my household’s lives.”
h/t to LoveMeow
Written By: Cortney Licata