Cuddly Cat and Dog Best Friends to Soothe Your Soul March 02 2017, 0 Comments
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.
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:
One of the more famous calico ladies is Honorable Eternal Stationmaster Tama who saved the Kishi Station in Wakayama, Japan, from closing.
Another cute calico lady is Pudge, whose "mustache is cooler than yours." Here's Pudge lounging around in all her feminine feline glory.
Good luck finding one! There's less than a 0.1% chance of a calico cat being born male. Approximately one in 3,000 calicos are male.
For a male cat to have calico colors, it must have an extra X chromosome, making it XXY. While these cats present as male, they are calico because of the double X chromosome.
Meet Sherman, one in 3,000. A stray male calico who showed up at the Humane Society Silicon Valley!
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.
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.
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.
Be sure to bring your pocket-sized calico protector with you wherever you go.
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.
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 :)
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.
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!
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.
If you're interested in giving Coconut his forever home, please contact Boston's Forgotten Felines.
You can find even more uplifting stories of rescue cats and their heroes in our new community, Cats Club!
h/t The Dodo
Written By: Cortney Licata
Just a hunk, a hunk of purring love!
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!
“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.
Written By: Cortney Licata
This weekend only this planner is on sale for $18.90 get yours before it is gone!