Thursday, April 26, 2007

It's Raining....again

Well, it was raining. The sun is trying to come out now. But we furs know it will be raining again before mom leaves work. The rain is okay though. There's nothing better than sleeping when it's raining, unless it's sleeping when it's sunny. Or sleeping when it's cold...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wednesday Wackiness

The weather is warming up and mom's been opening up the windows for us. The two cat trees are in front of large windows. Bandit will usually get on the top perch of one tree and Serendipity will get on the top perch of the other tree. The middle perch on each tree is up for grabs. Then there is always room in a windowsill to lay down and feel the breeze. When we aren't napping we watch the birds and squirrels in the backyard. Once in awhile we might see a bunny or a chipmunk. The strange thing Sable and I (Clarissa) ever saw in the backyard was a female wild turkey! Mom didn't know where it came from but it didn't seem to be too afraid of people. The crazy thing is there is an expressway right behind the house and this is a residential neighborhood. It's not a rural area at all. Our typist (mom) has to get to work now....

Thursday, April 19, 2007

We are confused....

We are very confused about our local weather. One day it's close to 70 and and the next day it's in the 40s or 50s. Mom keeps going between opening the windows and airing out the house to turning the heat on and wearing a sweatshirt. The thing is, we don't know whether we should continue to shed our winter fur or keep it longer. The only fur here who doesn't need to shed a winter coat is Memphis. His fur is very very short anyway. Since we are all indoor cats it probably doesn't matter anyway.

Mom said if she could teach us all to use the human litter box like this cat is doing she wouldn't have to clean another cat box again. Fat chance that will ever happen!

She also made this warning sign on the computer. I think we've been insulted!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Oops! We did it again....

Yes we did! Some fur(s) peed not only in mom's recliner again, but our other human's recliner! Mom has gotten smart and she checks now before she sits down. But our other human sat down in his recliner and then said, "Oh no! They've peed in this one too!" *beaming proudly* And then to add the icing to the hairball, Fiona yakked her dinner up on the carpet in more than one place last night. It was a good day!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cats Can Make You Crazy

We beg to differ with the writer of this article. Mom was crazy long before we joined the family.

Can cats make you crazy?
Parasite may be factor in mental illness

By Tamara Ikenberg
The Courier-Journal

Cats: fluffy puffy friends, or instigators of mental illness?

Q: According to a study by Stanford University researchers called "Parasite Hijacks Brain With Surgical Precision" published April 2 in New Scientist and the new book "Survival of the Sickest" (Morrow, 267 pp., $25.95), by neurogeneticist Sharon Moalem, they could be both. The scientists theorize about toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that can reproduce only in cats and has the power to trigger schizophrenia and other particular behaviors in humans.

We talked to Moalem about this new insight that could make "the crazy cat lady" more than a myth.

Q: Cats have long been suspected of being in league with witches and dark powers. Could there be a connection?

A: There could be. People could've noticed that those who tended to have a lot of cats tended to be strange. There may be something to that old mythology of the crazy cat lady now that we know there's some kind of weird mind control going on.

Q: How does the parasite get to the cat?

A: It changes the behavior of mice and rats. It controls the mouse or rat's behavior to such surgical precision that they just lose their fear of cats, cat urine or cat smell. The parasite literally turns them into cat food. In a weird way, it saves them for the cat. It really doesn't do anything to the cat. It's almost to the cat's benefit to have the parasite. It gets them food. That's really why you shouldn't let your cats out.

Q: Why can T. gondii only reproduce in cats?

A: It's just one of those quirks of nature. It's called co-evolution; one evolved with the other. How it arose? No one has any clue. It needs the cat to do its sexual reproduction. It's just so freaky. It makes an animal lose a fear of only one other animal, and that's the animal it's trying to get to.

Q: How does it get from a cat to a human?

A: The eggs that come out that can infect you are shed in cat excrement. So it's because of the litter box. It'll stick to cat litter; so if the cat drags it out and you ingest it by accident, you can get infected.

I have three cats and am already plenty strange. But I don't let them out.

That's fine. As long as they've never had access to mice.

They're all rescued.

Then most likely they could be carrying the parasites. … If you're exposed to that parasite when you're young, like in the first few years of your life, that may be the worst time to be infected by it. That's when your mind is being formed; structurally it's kind of being put down. The first few years of childhood are so crucial. I find it funny: Parents spend so much time, money and effort to make sure their kids get the best education, not realizing that the cat they have can put them at risk for schizophrenia. Parents buy a good car seat, they drive a Volvo, but the cat could be causing problems. … Pregnant women should not be emptying litter boxes. If you get an infection with this parasite when you're pregnant, it's bad news. You can lose the baby.

Q: What other curious behaviors does T. gondii trigger?

A: Women infected with this parasite tend to be hypersexual; they have more partners. The men (with the parasite) tend to be more withdrawn and pick more fights. With women, there also seems to be an obsession with shopping and appearance; a change in behavior. From a host-parasite relationship, it makes total sense, especially if you think of something as accepted as rabies. It makes animals more aggressive. That's just a simple virus, and look at that behavioral control it's doing. T. gondii is much more complicated than a simple virus.

This all makes me think of Don Konkey on the F/X series "Dirt," the schizophrenic photographer who adores his cats so much he made a shrine for a recently deceased furry friend.

It fits so well. What's interesting and we should remember, too, is (that) it's not a cause of schizophrenia, it's just another risk factor that could push you (over the edge). You have some underlying things that are going on, and if a parasite is manipulating and changing your brain structure anyway, that's what happened.

I am afraid these findings will make people hate kitties.

I think there's enough anti-cat sentiment. It's just not cats. Cats do get the bad rap because that's where they (the parasites) go to reproduce. You can also get this parasite from undercooked meats. There should be a movement to try to make a vaccine or try to get cats free from this parasite completely. It's something that's preventable. Tapeworm used to be in every single pig you'd buy and eat. We've made changes to get that not to happen anymore.

Q: Will any of these findings eventually benefit cats, mice or people?

A: It lends more strength to the idea that if something affects the behavior of a mammal with such surgical precision, there's likely an effect on us. There's work under way to give people with schizophrenia drugs against T. gondii and see if that treats schizophrenia.

Reporter Tamara Ikenberg can be reached at (502) 582-4174.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Silliness

One of us furs peed in mom's recliner again during the night. She's really aggravated at us too. The recliner is less that two years old and was really expensive. Mom's tried everything she can think of to clean it and keep us from going back to it. She's threatening to lock four of us in one bathroom and the other four in the second bathroom during the night when she is in bed. Of course we think that is a lousy idea!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quite similar to life at our house

We don't lay on the computer keyboard, but we have been known to walk across it!

And Daisy does this to mom all of the time. Every night we hear her tell Daisy to get her butt out of mom's face! hee hee

Daisy is obviously channeling Muffin!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Fur Family!

No Mews is Good Mews

Well, we all managed to stay out of trouble yesterday. Therefore I don't have much news to share today. I'll share some of the new picfurs and a comic strip.

This is Memphis Meezer. He jumped up onto the top of the bookcase from mom's computer chair. He almost landed on her head when he jumped down.

Monday, April 9, 2007

More time with our meowmie!

Other than a few errands mom had to run on Saturday, she spent the weekend home with us. We love it when she's home because we get to snuggle in the chair with her. She stayed busy Saturday morning though! Mom has enough yarn to open her own store. It was all stuffed in bags and boxes and not organized. She decided to organize her yarn stash on Saturday and we decided to help her! My job (Clarissa) was to hide in the nooks and crannies of the shower stall she uses as a storage closet. I would get in boxes, on top of boxes and behind boxes trying to help. Bandit's job was to grab yarn and run down the hall with it. My other brofurs and sisfurs mostly just snoopervised her.

Mom did take a break during the afternoon. She decided to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I napped in her lap while she watched the movie. Then she watched the Alice Cooper concert movie Good To See You Again. Memphis the Meezer laid in her lap through most of that.

She was home most of yesterday too, but we didn't get much snuggle time until last night. Mom was busy doing laundry and paying bills. Oh, I almost forgot. Mom did download some new picfurs of some of us furs. I try to post some of them here this week.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Cuddle time with mom...

Several of us furs got some cuddle time with mom last night. She decided to watch a couple of movies on DVD so we took turns getting into her lap. Daisy was first, but she usually is the first one to visit mom when she gets home from work. The next fur was Memphis. While he was visiting Sable got on the arm of the chair for a brief visit.

Fiona probably spent the most time in mom's lap. Since she is the smallest cat in the house, it's easier for her to curl up in a ball and lay on mom. But one she got up then I (Clarissa) took her spot. I got some ear skritches and chin skritches too! I finally got up and moved to my spot on the floor in front of the t.v. cabinet. There is a vent behind it and the warm air from the furnace blows out. I lurve laying there. Bandit laid down as close to me as I would let him.

It was a good night!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

More free cat food from out vet!

Mom has been buying our dry food from our vet for over a year now. My #1 brofur (and #2 cat of the househould) Sable, was plagued with struvite crystals in his pee. After three seperate episodes of this mom decided it was easier to feed us all the same food. It gets very expensive to feed us though. A 16.5 lb. bag of the Royal Canin S/O Urinary food costs about $35 toonas. With eight of us it doesn't take long to go through a bag of it either.

A few weeks ago the vet called mom and offered her a 5 lb. bag of the food at no cost. You see, the office cat, Morris, got into the storage room and chewed holes in several bags of both dog and cat foods. Once the bags are damaged they can't be sold. Mom received another call on Tuesday from the vet. Poor Morris struck again! Therefore, we will be getting another bag of free food. Mom joked and said if Morris keeps this up the vet will want her to bring him home along with the food! Mom is going to pick the food up tonight after work.

We also want to thank mom's boss for the small bag of Purina One. Molly-kitty recently crossed the bridge (she was almost 18 years old). She had an almost full bag of kitty food that she gave mom for us. *gentle earlicks*

This is why mom doesn't keep the toilet paper on the rollers at home.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I'm Famous!!!!

Me, Memphis the Meezer, is famous!!! I was on Kat's Cat of the Day blog yesterday! How exciting. Here's the link: