Organizing and scheduling don't come naturally to some people. And when I say “some people,” I mean me. And with the inevitable "New Year, New Me" hype come 2018, I've decided it's time to get all my ducks in a row … Scratch that. This is a cat blog. To help get all my cats in a row, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help people like me who struggle to get their life in order. This shirt pretty much sums up how I feel.
Calico cats are some of the coolest cats there are. It's not just their beautiful, eye-catching colors that make them pretty calicool. (Okay, even I cringed at that pun.) Their “cool cat” stat is backed by some interesting science.
To get down to brass tacks, “calico” is not a breed of cat. Calico actually refers to a cat’s coat color and fur pattern. It’s most commonly a tri-color mix of orange, black and white, but variations of these basic colors can also present, such as cream, reddish brown, blue-black or even gray.
Calico colors can present in any breed of domestic cat, long hair or short: Japanese Bobtail, Manx, Persian, Turkish Angora and American Shorthair to name a few.
Now to the cool stuff.
Almost all calico cats are female.
Calicos are a weird wonder of nature, genetically speaking. No worries, I won’t be dragging out the Punnett squares and overhead projector. (Boy, do I feel old.) Here are the basics:
A cat needs two X chromosomes to present with the tri-color calico pattern.
If a cat has an XX pair of chromosomes, it will be female.
Male cats have an XY chromosome pair, so they can rarely be Calicos.
Only one in 10,000 male calicos are born fertile because of this rare XXY configuration. This anomaly can also cause Klinefelter’s Syndrome, a health issue that may result in some health problems for calico males.
That concludes the scientific portion of today’s cool calico cat facts! But we’ve got some fun feline folklore in store for you.
Calico cats are good luck.
In England and the United States, male calicos are considered especially lucky due to their rarity.
Maneki neko, a Japanese cat talisman thought to bring good fortune and wealth, is almost always calico. If Maneki neko’s left paw is raised, she’ll lure in those customers with her calico charm; while her raised right paw bestows good luck and wealth. The higher her paw is held, the luckier you’ll be.
Calicos are ancient maritime protectors.
Long ago, Japanese sailors saw calico cats as companions of good luck and would bring them along on their ocean voyages. The calicos were thought to chase away storms and also any angry, ancestral ghosts that may float onboard.
An old Irish wives’ tale claims that if you’ve got a wart on ye olde foot, just rub-a-dub-dub that unfortunate bump on an (even more unfortunate) calico’s tail. This calico kitty is a surefire way to banish those bumps. Just look at the size of that wart remover!
Or you could just wear a pair of cat socks. Or maybe don't worry about weird foot growths. Unless your podiatrist is like, "Whoa." Then maybe go find a calico cat.
Calicos bring in the fat stacks.
Litter isn’t the only thing calicos are raking in. Sometimes called “money cats” in the U.S. due to the myth that calicos can be sold at top dollar. Breeding for calicos is near impossible as the genetic configuration is unpredictable, and most male cats are sterile and aren't really of any higher monetary value than other cats. But we think they're priceless :)
Calicos are officially official.
The calico cat became the official state cat of Maryland in 2001, chosen because the calico’s colors resemble that of an Oriole, Maryland’s state bird. The Maryland Orioles baseball team also wears these colors.
Fluffy Elizabeth of Baltimore, above, won a division of the animal dress-up contest with her black-eyed-susan themed costume.
A calico cat Patronus is the best Patronus.
Wait! What about tortoiseshell cats?
Don't worry, we didn't forget about them! Tortoiseshell, or tortie, cats are similar to calicos in that they too are mostly female. But their colorations are slightly different.
Tortoiseshell refers to the bicolor coat pattern that is almost entirely orange and black with very little to no white markings. A popular tortie you might recognize is Venus, the "two-faced cat."
Admittedly, I don't have a calico (or tortie) to call my own. Do you? Feel free to comment below! We'd love to see more photos or hear tell of your beautiful, beloved kitties!
And if you have a kitty birthday or adoption day coming up for your favorite calico kitty, don't forget to treat them to a gift or two from our Under $10 section!
In February 2016, Coconut was just another nameless, feral cat fighting for survival out on the cold, wintry streets of Boston.
Spotted by rescuers working for Boston’s Forgotten Felines (BFF), Coconut was captured on a TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Release) mission to a local feral cat colony. Joni Nelson, BFF’s founder and a seasoned cat rescuer for over 30 years, soon discovered that the all-white stray’s condition was worse than initially thought. It was clear he couldn’t simply be neutered and rereleased into his feral colony.
Coconut’s ears were torn and bloodied, his white coat matted and dirty, wary, blue eyes crusted and goopy. On top of that, he had a serious UTI, chronic diarrhea, a bad back leg and ear mites; Poor Coconut was a mess. But according to Joni Nelson, it wasn’t his appearance that made him “hard to like,” it was his nasty attitude.
At first, Coconut would hiss at anyone who came near him. Nelson struggled to give him medicine, clean his cage or even feed him; he would always lash out when she opened his cage.
Coconut wouldn’t lift his head all the way to look at anyone, and Nelson discovered Coconut was mostly blind and could likely only see shadows.
He was clearly a frightened cat who had never known love. Or, if he had known love, he'd been abandoned for so long (since the summer of 2015), that he had forgotten what love and affection truly was.
“Many people told me to put him to sleep, that he was unadoptable,” Nelson said. “I couldn't let him live his life in a cage, and I couldn't put him to sleep.”
It took months of dedication, care, and affection for Coconut to begin to finally feel safe. “It took a long time to get him to let me touch him. First just his head and only for a second or two.”
Understanding Coconut’s hostility and fear dawned on Nelson when she discovered that he was deaf as well as mostly blind. “No wonder he was so nasty,” she said. “He was frightened and no one knows the torture he went through living on the streets for so long in that condition.”
Sherri Deluca was Coconut’s first foster mom. It wasn’t easy, but Deluca helped further rehabilitate Coconut and put him closer to his finding forever home. “She never gave up on him,” Nelson says of Deluca. She even has “battle scars to prove it.” Nevertheless, she persisted.
Soon, it was time for Coconut to spread his wings and learn of the rest of love and care that was out there awaiting him. He went to a new foster home, and after only one day of hiding under the bed, he seemed to relax. “He loves the attention,” says Nelson.
Coconut has truly blossomed into a healthy, confident cat thanks to his rescue moms – and he’s quite the cuddly companion. “He purrs up a storm when being loved. He sleeps with [his foster mom] and cuddles.”
Coconut's transformation is truly incredible and shows just what love, safety, and attention can do for cats, like Coconut, who are desperately in need.
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that almost 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year, approximately 2.4 million (80%) are healthy and treatable and could have been adopted into new homes.
With numbers this alarming and a case as challenging as Coconut's, it’s akin to a miracle that Coconut didn’t become just another statistic; Coconut's miracle came in the form of the rescuers who gave him a chance when no one else would. But Coconut still needs one more miracle: to find a loving family to call his own.
Do you like cats? How about hot guys? Well, friends, have an early Valentine’s Day treat, à la Meowingtons. Treat yourself to an eye candy buffet, chock-full of some aesthetically pleasing gentlemen holding even more adorable cats. It's time these crazy cat dudes get some appreciation. Move over, Magic Mike, and say hello to Magic Me-ow.
These guys really know how to work a camera. They’ve got that “Blue Steel” look on lock. Remember to smize, boys!
Phantom of the Opurra, anyone? If these two mysteriously appeared out of the shadows to serenade me with the sweet, sweet music of the night, I’d let them at least finish the song. It’s rude to interrupt, right? Yeah. Right?
Is it getting hot in here, or is that just the global warming? Either way, call the fire department ‘cause this fireman and his fluffy firehouse cat has got me feeling' a li’l warm under the collar.
This kind, handsome boy is clearly wearing those killer shades to shield his eyes from the sheer brilliance radiating from his British Shorthair.
He’s color coordinating with his cat, which, might I add, is wearing that bow tie to perfection? Need I say more?
Nothing says, “I love you, bro” like a nose bump, bro.
This hunk is really embracing his inner feline and, boy, is he working those soft, fluffy ears. The guy doesn’t look half bad either.
Who needs a scarf (or a, um, shirt) when you’ve got a perfectly shaped, perfectly draped cat friend?
Oh, the secrets you’ll learn when ogling rustic cowboys in their natural environs. Ten-gallon hats also double as efficient kitten holders. That leaves two free arms to hug you!
I wouldn’t mind being wrapped up in that purrito.
It isn't all just about looks, you gotta hit the books! Even these fuzzy bedfellows know reading is fundamental.
Catnaps are also fundamental, and these three can keep you warm with their lustrous fur. Watch out for tickly whiskers, though.
Okay, this just isn’t fair. This picture gave me a serious case of the “warm and fuzzies” and also melted all of the chocolate I already bought myself.
Is anyone else getting sleepy?
Wakey, wakey, it's time for cuddles!
And sweet kitty kisses (Shh, I'm not crying, you're crying.)
You know this is a healthy, strong boy. He can hold two cats at once. I’m sure I could hop in his arms and he’d carry all three of us off into the sunset without even breaking a sweat.
Why he scream? Hmm. I guess I'd probably scream too if I woke up staring into those beautiful eyes. But like a good scream, though, like "Hah! See, Mom! I told you I'd hook one someday!"
“In some ways, it wasn’t Bayview who rescued Pickles. Mr. Pickles rescued us.”
Meet Mr. Pickles: a plump, retired tabby cat who grabbed life with his own two paws and chose to live it up in the lap of luxury – and in the laps of folks from the Bayview Retirement Community. Mr. Pickles was a neighborhood cat that wandered his way into the Seattle-based retirement community some 8 years ago.
For almost a year before Bayview became his forever home, the mysterious Mr. Pickles would take it upon himself to tour the grounds looking for some good food, some good company, and a warm fireplace by which to warm his chilly toe beans in the winter.
A true master of his own destiny, Mr. Pickles strode about as if he owned the place. He knew all the folks who would give him treats and came to learn the ins and outs of the retirement community. The ingenious Mr. Pickles even figured out how to get the automatic front doors to do his bidding so he could come and go as he pleased.
Sue Donovan, Bayview’s Director of Marketing, said that a man came in one day saying, “You don’t know me, but you know my cat, Mr. Pickles.” He then asked if they would like to keep Mr. Pickles, as he had been in and out of the hospital and was now moving away and couldn’t properly care for the cat. The staff and residents of Bayview gladly accepted. The charming Mr. Pickles (who had already made himself at home) has been with them ever since.
Mr. Pickles showing off his new cap, knitted by resident Dottie (Source)
In the years since Mr. Pickles has become an official resident of Bayview, he has become a bona fide therapy cat. Mr. Pickles, along with Bayview’s other therapy cat, Frankie “Blue Eyes”, brings company, joy and purpose to the senior residents most in need.
Therapy animals can give seniors living on their own or in retirement communities a renewed sense of purpose and a feeling of being needed. The unconditional love a cat like Mr. Pickles brings to Bayview can be essential to the happiness of its residents.
Frankie "Blue Eyes", one of the other therapy cats at Bayview
Mr. Pickles has a way with almost all the residents, even getting the most reserved and quiet of people to open right up: As Donovan said, “I’ve seen people who don’t like people talk only to Mr. Pickles.”
Mr. Pickles stays most nights in the apartment of Marion Watanabe, his primary caretaker. "He's such a friendly little cat," Says Marion. "He stays in this apartment all night, sleeps here on top of my bed. In the morning when I wake up, he's usually in my bed. He comes up and taps my face to let me know he's there."
In the mornings, Mr. Pickles and Marion make their way down to the first floor, and Mr. Pickles starts his day his way.
"Just dill with it." - Mr. Pickles
These days, Mr. Pickles all but owns the first floor, confidently striding through the halls, greeting residents and maybe taking a few treats here and there, perhaps taking a stroll through gardens outside for a nap in the warm sun. Mr. Pickles is a cat that relishes his chosen life, and he’s not wasting a single moment - or a single pat.
They say the grass is always greener on the other side – and this time, it turned out to be true. Mr. Pickles sure picked the perfect patch of greener grass to call home.
These hardworking felines can really get down to business.
Meet Stationmasters Tama and Nitama. Stationmaster Tama was first brought to the Kishi Station in Wakayama, Japan, in an effort to turn the failing station around. Tama’s affable, yet commanding presence (and her adorable uniform) worked like a charm and has since made the station a popular draw for tourists.
Honorable Eternal Stationmaster Tama.
Tama sadly passed away in 2015, and was posthumously given the title of “Honorable Eternal Stationmaster.” After a Shinto-style funeral, attended by thousands of fans, Tama was succeeded by her paw-sonally trained deputy (and recent graduate of Cat Stationmaster Training School), Nitama.
Sailor and Skipper, Savvy Sailors. “All paws on deck! And Gopher, fetch your kitty captain some of my good catnip from the safe.”
All right, so this isn’t an episode of “The Love Boat” where Goph somehow thinks Captain Stubing has been replaced by a talking cat in uniform. But these cruising kitties are definitely bringing the love to this boat.
These four-legged Russian crewmembers diligently keep watch over their ship as they cruise between Moscow and St. Petersburg. Sailor, the Persian cat, first became part of the crew in 2008. He is a constant companion to the ship’s captain, Vladimir Kotin, helping him keep watch in the captain’s bridge on long nights.
Fritz and Nutmeg, Warehouse Warriors. According to the StarTribune, two feral cats got a second chance at life as “warehouse warriors,” earning their keep at Ramy Turf Products by patrolling the grounds and eliminating its mouse problem. While both cats are feral, Fritz has become a sociable, integral part of the crew who brightens up the workers’ day.
RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER, STAR TRIBUNE
Fritz and Nutmeg were adopted as part of the “working cat” program of the Animal Humane Society, a program that pairs feral cats with businesses looking for alternative pest control free of traps and poison.
Officer Lemon, Kyoto’s first Police Cat. Meet officer Lemon: a former stray from the streets of Kyoto. Lemon now patrols those same streets she grew up on as an honorary member of the Kyoto Police Force! Lemon is an important part of the station, donning her outfit with an air of authority that leaves everyone smiling. When she’s not busy hunting for those jailbirds, she’s out on calls with her fellow officers to help comfort scared victims.
Who needs Batman when you’ve got the long paw of the law? Lemon is the hero we deserve and the hero we need. She's even got the outfit.
Stubbs, Mayor of the People, for the People, by the People. Given the title of honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, in July of 1997, Stubbs is truly a blue-collar kitty. Born on the streets, he nosed his way into politics and rose to the top of this Alaskan town. I was going to make a joke about “catty” office politics, but he’s probably heard them all before.
Still Talkeetna’s unopposed mayor in 2016, Mayor Stubbs seems to have a higher-ranking role in mind: POTUS. He’s already laying the groundwork for a campaign with the byline “He has nine lives, but you only have one. Vote #stubbs2016" on Twitter.
This weekend only this planner is on sale for $18.90 get yours before it is gone!
Meowingtons designed a limited edition Purr Planner for creative kitty lovers like yourself. No matter what your goals are, this planner will help you stay organized while also keeping a huge smile on your face.
Why? Becuase each page is uniquely illustrated (with cats, obv) so you will never have to look at another boring calendar again!
Become part of the Purr Planner Family and make this your year with the help of your very own Purr Planner !
Your kitty is sure to approve, that's our paw-mise!