Black Cats Tell All Book Awarded Certificate of Excellence

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Black Cats Tell All Book Awarded Certificate of Excellence by feline editor Clyde and other Monday Mews.

What’s this? Sniff sniff.  Fancy paper for me from the Cat Writers’ Association? Who knew such an organization existed, but it does and there are many best-selling and notable members.My mom and fellow writer/editor has been a member since 2011 and has won numerous certificates of excellence and their top prize, the Muse Medallion, three times. I might only be a cat but but why isn’t my name on it?

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It’s a victory for panther power. Layla wrote an amusing post for Cole And Marmalade about black cats and it’s been already shared over 5000 times. Go Panfurs!

My furbro, Odin meowdeling one of our past Muse awards. He’s not black but we are colorblind around here. We also don’t need awards since we live for instant gratification in the now.

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Hello, catnip, my reward. It tastes so much better than paper.

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I’m proud to be a part of this labor of love to benefit black cats. It’s ironic that my story in our nonprofit book is called, “The Catnip Made Me Do It” since I wasn’t really into catnip then. You might say, I’m a late adopter, having acquired a taste for catnip as an old man of 17!

I must also acknowledge my fur angel in crime, the late, great Merlin. He was and continues to be our Muse-in-residence. Layla has known many cats in her life but Merlin was her everything for twenty-one years.  Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images is dedicated to Merlin. After our dear Gris Gris died in 2014, a beautiful burial mound in our garden was created. Odin and Domino  but especially Merlin, adored Gris Gris and would visit. The plan was to expand the mound but the root ball of the tree flattened and other locations were considered.  As it turned out, the very spot Merlin in buried is under his name in this photo taken two years before he died.

Merlin at cat grave

Last week, I shared the horrible state of his grave. It did not winter well. The angel cat sculpture was missing an ear and a part of a wing. Broken ceramics, empty votives, cracked terracotta and dried debris littered the mossy memorial mound and graves of all our cats. A spring cleaning was needed and to honor Merlin’s death anniversary on May 11, I will post weekly updates of the changes. Yesterday, a nasty storm blew in and this was as far as we got in phase one of the clean up. Mother Nature will pitch in soon I hope. Everything is in a continual cycle of transition and there is beauty in every season. Make your days and dashes count.

“It isn’t the date on either end that counts,
but how they used their dash for that dash between the dates
represents all the time  they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.”
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Should you feel like purchasing our book in memory a beloved cat, please order directly and message Layla with their name.

If it’s Monday, it must mean coffee for many folks.

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Other news or mews. Check out our NEW Cat Cafe Directory tab in our menu/header. It’s an updated directory of cat cafes in the U.S. Canada,U.K. Australia,NZ and Europe. If you know of a new cafe in the works or would like us to post sponsored images of an existing cafe, please email Layla at info@catwisdom101.com

Lots of furry, glossy, black cat love,

Clyde and the rest of the gang.

We love you, no matter what color your fur is.

Are you following all our furry news and fun on Instagram or Pinterest? There is always something new and not seen here. We are @catwisdom101 across all social including Facebook and Twitter and my personal favorite place @blackcatsofIG where there is a cat art feature every Monday, featured cat videos,  adorable adoptables and daily shout outs in our stories.

Lucky Black Cat Friday The 13th With Purrrcast Podcast Muse Samba

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Lucky Black Cat Friday The 13th With Purrrcast Podcast Muse Samba Q & A by Layla Morgan Wilde

To counter the negative, unlucky vibe of Friday the 13th, we’re turning on the black cat charm three ways:

1) Check out our post: 5 Fab Ways Friday the 13th is Lucky For These Black Cats at Cole and Marmalade. 

2) Find out the root of Friday the 13th and see Lucky Black Cat art

3) Meet Samba, feline muse of Sara Iyer, co-host with Steven Ray Morris of the weekly Podcast The Purrrcast. I recently got hooked on the L.A. based podcast where the host interview a wide range of cat lovers in the most chill style possible. They celebrated their 138th episode this week and Oprah recently named The Purrrcast one of her top 3 pet podcasts.

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Q & A For Samba about Friday The 13th

Samba, can you share your thoughts about Friday the 13th?

Some people are scared of Friday the 13th, but some people are scared of black kitties! People can just be wrong about things sometimes. Friday the 13th is a good day to walk under a ladder, break a mirror, and pet a black kitty! Make sure you clean up the glass from the mirror though before you pet the kitty. That’s just common sense.

Tell us a little about your cat mom Sara Iyer and Purrrcast.

Sometimes mama comes home smelling like other kittens! And sometimes I hear her listening to her own voice coming out of the box she looks at cat videos on, and she and a strange man I swear I’ve never met before are talking about kittens other than me! I’m very offended! But then she also talks about me a lot. The whole show should be about me, but it isn’t. Also, what is this “pawed cast” thing people keep talking about?? But mama is the best mama! We cuddle in the mornings before she goes to work and then when she comes home we cuddle some more. She gives the best neck scratchies and she feeds me wet food! My favorite thing to do is to sit on her lap while she watches the TV box. She’s the only person I like. Everyone else is scary!

 

You can always count on cats to tell it like it is. Samba reveals all from our famous Purrsonality Profile.  Yes, the one from our book: Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images. There are over 100 black cats featured with stories and purrfect profiles including Cole from Cole and Marmalade and the hysterical Sophie @sophie_the_model

Black Cats Tell All Purrsonality profile by Samba

Name origin, any nicknames and where adopted:

I guess my name is Samba, but mama usually calls me Samby, Baby, Baby Boo, Baby Boo Kittenface, or Mama’s Favorite. She says I’m feisty and sometimes I’ll make air biscuits while standing up and it looks like I’m dancing! I came from an animal shelter in a land called “Burbank”.

Gender:

Female

Breed:

Domestic Shorthair

Birthday (if known) or Gotcha Day (day adopted):

Born April 2010, picked out from the shelter January 4th, 2011, and brought home from the shelter January 6th, 2011.

Weight:

12.5 lbs (I’m slimming down though, vet’s orders!)

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Any unusual or special characteristics:

A white tuft of fur on my lower belly.

Zodiac Sign (if known or best guesstimate):

Taurus (I was born in April and I get along well with my mama, who’s a Cancer!)

Occupation:

Quality Control Technician for fleecy blankets, wet food, and all the toys they sell at Petco.

Religion (if any):

I believe in a higher power, but it’s me. And I’m literally higher, I’m up on the very top of my cat tree.

Interests or hobbies:

Watching the fishy in the aquarium, looking out the window, sitting on mama’s lap, cuddling with mama, eating wet food. I also love boxes from Costco!

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Pet Peeve:

Having my face or butt wiped! Not getting fed soon enough. Also the kitty in the hallway who keeps wanting to play with me and sits by my door!

Favorite quote:  

“Are you hungry?” – mama, right before I get wet food.

What is your idea of purrfect happiness?

Being full of tuna and on mama’s lap.

What would you choose as your superpower?

The ability to open all the wet food.

What is your favorite food or treat?

Tuna! Anything with fish! I try to catch the fish in the aquarium, but there’s some invisible barrier my paw can’t get through!

What is your favorite toy or game?

Hair ties (only supervised, mama says she doesn’t want me eating them).

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Why should people adopt black cats?

We’re pretty and silly and mysterious! Our fur doesn’t show up on your black clothes, and it looks really neat on your white clothes. Sometimes if we hide in dark shelves or drawers, we just look like a pair of eyes.

 

Follow Samba @saraiyer and @thepurrrcast on Instagram, Facebook and their new private Facebook group for more furry fun.

Happy Friday The 13th! Don’t you feel more lucky now?

 

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And we’re so thrilled spring is finally springing, we’re having a sale of our nonprofit book to promote black cat adoption. Feeling lucky? Grab two. Buy securely and directly from us.

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Feline Monday Motivation With Cranky Cats

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Feline Monday Motivation With Cranky Cats by feline editor Clyde and friends.

Fasten your seat belts dearies, expect an oopsie, what fresh hell is this kind of week. Sorry, my motivation is unfluffy but may save you stress in advance.  Thankfully, there are a couple pretty pics from the garden. Breath… Nerves will be frayed.  Colorful language spoken. Things more wrong than right. Don’t take anything personally. Be like a cat. We never do. So, if the last few weeks have been Mercury in Retrograde wonky, expect one last week of craziness before it goes direct. I predict by the new moon, the last die-hard vestiges of winter will turn into a proper spring overnight. Meanwhile, we’ve been cranky cats wanting spring but settling for electric heating pads.

We and that includes felines and humans at our house are literally climbing the walls. Okay, at least Odin is.  There was added stress for Layla dealing with cat death news and unusual feral cat rescue coordination. Let’s just say there were lots of late nights emails and calls with a positive outcome.

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Odin says a final farewell to snow and not a moment too soon for him.  The snow hides everything under a blanket of clean. When it melted, the lawn guys did their thing but

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it was a sorry sight for Merlin’s grave. Spring cleaning is needed and hopefully nature will provide a less depressing scene soon.

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A carpet of scilla has bloomed exchanging blues for blue. They are lasting longer than usual.  It’s the only good thing about the bone-cold weather.  The delicate blooms are downright miraculous.

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It’s odd not having our daffodils up and I thought I’d honor National Cherish An Antique Day with daffodils from 1898.  Do I count as an antique to be cherished?

See you next week and be sure to stop by on Friday for a special post.

Love,

Clyde

P.S. and oh my whiskers, my aging fur and human family. When did everyone at my house suddenly turn into an antique? I need to order a gallon of water from the fountain of youth or escape to a spa for 600 years. How about you?

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April is the Purrfect Time To Curl Up With A Cat Tale

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April is the Purrfect Time To Curl Up With A Cat Tale, literally.

Hello April, it’s Clyde your friendly feline editor with a request to Mother Nature. Be kind not cruel.  Our spring has not quite sprung yet and until it does, I’m opting for more cozy catnaps curled up with Layla.

This is my current mood. It’s black and white obvious darlings. I’m sending Layla the subtle: “Stop what you’re doing and get back to bed. We need to snuggle. Right Meow.” If you’re reading this, my advice is to take a breather. Your cat, I assure you won’t mind.

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If you’re short on time, I suggest power-napping and a short story. A cat story of course. Our friend and fellow black cat lover, NY Times best-selling author Gwen Cooper is launching a brand-new monthly series of electronic short stories, called “Curl Up with a Cat Tale” on April 3 but we got a sneak peek. There will be a brand-new, true-life story written by Gwen each month–roughly 8,000 to 12,000 words in length–available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, etc. for $3.99 each.

Consider these stories a bite-sized nugget of fabulous feline entertainment. And let’s face it, who has the time or patience to dig into a weighty book? We or I should say, Layla, read the first story to me out loud and I Choo Choo Choose You! is a warm-hearted delight. For anyone who fell in love with Homer The Blind Cat, Gwen Cooper’s life as a fledgling cat lady and the story of her first kitten, Scarlett, is a must-read. Unlike Homer, it was not love at first kitten sight for Gwen. As as we all know, cats choose who they love and we sometimes take our sweet time. Gwen takes us on charming, fly on the wall journey back to 90’s Miami that feels like a prequel to Homer. If you’ve read any of Gwen’s books, you’ll recognize her story-telling style that feel like hugging the best cat, ever.

If this debut story of the series is any indication of the stories cued up for 2018, I say, sign up to curl up with a cat tale. Let the purring begin.

Paws up. Who likes an early bird bargain?

Clever cats (or humans) can subscribe directly through Gwen’s website for a one-time payment of $14.99 (60% off the list price!) and have each new story automatically sent to them–with a file that will work on the device/ereader of their choice–one week before general publication!  The link for subscriptions is http://www.gwencooper.com/cat-tales.
Stay current with the latest book news and other cat related news at Gwen’s huge and cat loving community on Facebook
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Love,
Clyde “Won’t you be my April Fool?” Wilde
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Vintage Finnish/Swedish Easter Witches With Their Cats

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Vintage Finnish/Swedish Easter Witches With Their Cats by Layla Morgan Wilde

The lighter version of Halloween witches is celebrated today with Easter Witches from Sweden and Finland. I curated, restored and edited a vintage collection of postcards dating from the turn of the century to mid-century depicting Easter witches and their cats. The witches are depicted as more friendly than evil, smiling and happily sipping on cups of tea or coffee with their cats of all colors, not just black. The witches and their anything but evil looking familiars are out for fun on their broomsticks. In later years, broomsticks morphed into other vehicles but usually headed to the mythical island of Blakulla.

In Sweden and Finland, on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, kids dress up as påskkärring (pohsk-shar-ing – Easter witches) wishing folks a “Glad Påsk!” (Swedish for Happy Easter) or in Finnish, “Hyvää Pääsiäistä”and in return, receive treats. It’s all good and no tricks.

In the 1800s adults dressed up as witches but gradually it became a kid’s holiday and time for family get togethers. These days children wear shawls and kerchiefs instead of pointy hats, carry copper pots instead of plastic cauldrons or pumpkins. The witch brooms are now pussy willow twigs. Sweden and Finland rank high in gender equality and boys can be witches too. The treats are regular Easter treats like chocolate eggs and bunnies but coins are given out as well.

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Easter like all Christian holidays has pagan roots and the Easter witches tradition is a Pagan and Christian mash-up. Unlike the U.K. and Europe, Sweden and Finland largely escaped the impact of the 400 year-old witch hunt. By comparison, only a tiny percentage of accused witches (men and women) were killed.  It may explain the friendly, less fear-based vibe of the witches and their continued pagan-based veneration of nature.

On a personal aside, my parents were born in Finland and I’m part Swedish. We had a copper kettle at home like those in the illustrations and yes, my first Halloween costume was a witch.

According to folklore, Easter witches travelled to the mythical Blåkulla (Blue Maiden Island) on their broomsticks with their cats on Maundy Thursday every year. The only problem is the mythical island actually exists and its supernatural power pre-dates Christianity. You can visit the small island called Bla Jungfrun aka Blakulla which is now a National Park.

There is evidence of Stone Age ritual, unusual caves and a stone labyrinth. The island has long been linked with tales of witchcraft, supernatural powers, curses and used by sailors to predict the weather. According to local legend anyone who removes stones from the island would be cursed for life with bad luck. Every year, tourists in hindsight empty their stolen pockets of rocks which are then returned to the island. Superstitions die hard.

Folklore suggests in order to prevent witches from using their broomsticks at this time of year, people used to hide them, light fires, close off their chimneys and sometimes fire guns into the air to scare off the witches. Vintage illustrations often show the witches running into humorous situations on their broom.

While the witches all appear to be women, they are literally in the driver’s seat. As new technology developed, the automobile made way for airplanes.

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This looks like way more fun than Halloween.

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Men play a secondary role with the women enjoying themselves and in this case, kissing the chimney sweep.

In a reverse kind of Santa Claus, the Easter Witch goes up the chimney instead of down.

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Cultural changes and politics influenced later designs. This is the only card I could find with a dog.  A Sputnik-era cold war aversion to Communism? What do you think is going on?

 

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Today no one hides their brooms but bonfires and fireworks are lit for vestiges of witchy revelry. It’s a fun part of holy week. It’s no surprise the Swedes and Finns (myself included) have a sweet tooth and Finland has the world’s highest per capita consumption of coffee. 

Happy Easter to everyone celebrating and a happy Passover to our Jewish friends and readers celebrating their first seder tomorrow.

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Out Of This World Snow Cat Adventures

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Out Of This World Snow Cat Adventures by feline editor Clyde.

Hello dear ones. Can I say the title is a bit of a white lie? Not that I would ever lie to you, but a more accurate title would be Tales of Two Adventure Cats: One Indoor Cat and Bookish Lover Of Star Trek Cats:The Next Generation and One Indoor/Outdoor Cat Who Loves Snow. No, that doesn’t sound right either. The truth is I have zero interest in real life adventures. Getting up in the morning and meowing for breakfast nine times a day is adventure enough. If you’re like me, you may prefer finding adventure in books. They are an instant escape to anywhere, anytime and even out of this world. I enjoyed Star Trek Cats (read my review) and now more adventures await in Star Trek: The Next Generation by Jenny Parks is a faithful feline homage to the hit series.

Sorry, it’s not available for sale until tomorrow but I always get advance copies. Must be that lucky black cat luck! Anyway, it looks like another best seller. Oh, the black cutie doing the downward dog in a pink leotard in one episode is the cat’s meow.  Three of the kitty crew are black so I approve and the illustrations are spot-on adorable.

 

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Excuse me while I bury my furry visage into deep space and allow my fur brother Odin to take you on an adventure of the snowy kind. The good news is most the snow is gone but it’s still cold. Thankfully I have a thick panther fur coat to keep me warm and your kind thoughts. xoxox

This companion to the bestselling Star Trek Cats brings the many adventures of Star Trek: The Next Generation to life in a faithfully feline homage to the hit series.

Snow, the final frontier. Oh, hello! It’s me, Odin and no, mother nature did not dip the tip of my tail into a snowdrift. I was born this way and I’ve loved snow and outdoor adventures since kittenhood. Can you believe I’m turning 8 in June? That’s like middle-age man but not me. I do this every single day and it never gets old. Follow me for some real adventure. 

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The secret of adventure is having a good imagination. That means even the wildest adventures can be found in your backyard (physically and metaphorically). My territory is about 5 acres and 5 million miles wide in my mind. Most cats have wild imaginations. Why else would humans keep writing books about us?

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Good-bye birds. There was a family living there but I think they flew to Florida for the winter. I don’t know for sure but one would dive bomb me in the summer. Nasty little bugger but I did not, repeat did not kill him. Maybe a relative but not from this house. I will report if this nest gets occupied in the spring and I promise not to evict them. Tra, la la…moving on.

I wanted to visit my OTRB buddies Merlin and Gris Gris but the beautiful memorial garden was covered in snow. They were very good friends of mine and we all still miss them. I like leaving scent messages on the old garden chair where Gris Gris and Merlin loved sunbathing on. Sometimes they leave angel messages and other signs. Pardon my private parts and excited tail. I find the snow so invigorating.

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Hello, spring! I know you’re hiding somewhere. Oh, I wonder if Clyde or Nou Nou are looking out the window at me. They think I’m an idiot for going outside but I don’t care. I’m who I am and we’d all be better off if we were more accepting of our differences. And I mean ALL of us including you humans. Not that I’m judging you. They say cats are always secretly judging you but don’t believe it. We have better things to do. Our highly developed senses are constantly sniffing, hearing and seeing what you can’t see, hear or smell.

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Cats do spent much of our time observing not just your movements but everything. Outside, every day is different. It looks and smells crazy different every single day. Really. If you could smell what I do, you’d have a “happy tail” too. It’s a cause for celebration and maybe a song. I have my “happy tail” up most of the time. How does that song go?

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The best part after a little adventure is to go back inside safe and warm. Not all cats are this lucky. Some cats are homeless and have to stay outdoors in the cold.  ALL the time.  They need to be saved and if feral, trapped, neuter/spayed and returned to a managed colony where volunteers like (maybe you?) feed them and provide shelter. Not centrally heated luxury but some straw and a box. Thank you to those of you who help cats in any way you can. We’re worth it. And remember: never resist adventure. That goes for books or real life.

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Some more good news and an ask. We made no money promoting this book which will do very well.  Unlike our own non-profit  book Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images which has been out for a few months now and lagging a bit.

If you’d like to help cats, please buy or share about our book which was just awarded a certificate of excellence from the CWA. More about that in another post.

Much furry love,

Clyde & Odin

our fursibs Domino and Nou Nou. And our cat mom, Layla.

(this is an Amazon affiliate link)

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Spring Equinox, Ostara, Cat Arts & Wisdom Extravaganza

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Hello pussy willows anyone? It’s your feline editor Clyde with a visual cat arts feast for winter weary eyes. Plus celestial wisdom and plain old good advice from a smart old cat. Oh, and my feline brother from another mother, Odin, is joining me with his unique humor, albeit no wisdom.  Curl up, settle in and enjoy our Spring Equinox Cat Arts extravaganza.

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I sometimes think the Pussy-Willows grey
Are Angel Kittens who have lost their way,
And every Bulrush on the river bank
A Cat-Tail from some lovely Cat astray.

~Oliver Herford

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After what seems like a never-ending winter, spring is coming tomorrow. Normally, we’d have more than a few snowdrops by now. And snow is forecast, but so what if Mother Nature has a strange sense of humor? I get it. Cats have a strange sense of humor so without further ado, the spring or the vernal equinox countdown begins now.

Hello spring on Mar. 20 at 6:29 am EDT. At the same time our friends in the southern hemisphere, it will be the autumn equinox, and the beginning of autumn. But hang on; it’s going to be a wild week. Here’s why.

For astrology buffs, the spring equinox marks the beginning of the astrological year in Aries. Aries is a fiery, frisky, fun and take charge zodiac sign.  The fresh energy bodes well for change and new beginnings. And yes, your cat could be an Aries.cat

As everything gets revved up for a new start, blasted MERCURY IN RETROGRADE begins on the 22nd. If your computer or any electronics have been wonky and communication stilted or stalled, we’ve been in the shadow period for a week. I’m not going to delve into the nitty gritty of a Merc. retro except to say: expect delays, expect breakthroughs, demand honesty and if all fails, Namastay under the covers until April 16th darlings.

Click on the link above for details. It’s really more good than bad if you know how to stay in the moment like us cats. I suggest getting as much sleep as possible and not over do anything. It’s always a good time to edit, pare down, clean up and declutter. The don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing. Our healthy cleaning tips if you live with cats. I personally have never picked up as much as a dust rag but my tail does random flicking of random dust particles. My tongue is better than Brillo pad not that you’d ever see me scraping the inside of pot of Irish Stew.

My best advice during the next three weeks is to cancel your social plans and stay home with your cats and binge watch Babylon Berlin.

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Pagans celebrate spring with Ostara or Ēostre (root word of estrogen). Ostara is a Germanic fertility goddess, and origin of a festival of rebirth, better known as Easter. Whether Wiccan, Druid, Norse, Shamanic, Earth-based Witches or Pagans of any stripe, spring is about honoring our sacred planet in nature. During the spring equinox the days and nights, light and dark are evenly balanced. Its a time to reflect on balance and how we can create more balanced lives. It’s a fertile expansive time to plant seeds or actually or metaphorically for intentional goal setting in the coming season. The days grow longer, brighter and warmer. By lighting candles or fires we invite the residual chill of winter to depart and welcome the new season with her winds of change.

Eostre is why we paint eggs and how Easter chocolate eggs and bunnies became edible, symbolic examples of fertility. Crazy but true and remember, no chocolate for kitties or dogs. And keep those paper whites and Easter lilies away from cats. They are deadly toxic. And while you’re at it, keep crazy fur siblings like Odin away from the festivities.

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During the equinox its one of two times in the year of perfect balance between light and dark, day and night. It’s a time we can honor our sacred planet by going for a walk in nature, planting seeds (real or virtual), observing what’s blooming, and notice how you can find more balance in your life. Light candles or make a fire to kindle the warmth of a new season and brace for the winds of change.

We’re pretty witchy Zen around here but if I were to adopt a religion, it might be Buddhism or Shintoism because of the Japanese. They love black cats and are simple coo coo for all cat culture.

What you may not know is the Japanese celebrate spring with Shubun-sai,  an official holiday. No work!  It’s a day for people to “appreciate nature and living creatures.” Hello, sign me up.

They commune with nature and have numerous festivals including cherry blossom viewing. The roots of their spring equinox holiday stems from honoring their ancestors and visiting graves. It’s a perfect Zen balance of observing the eternal cycle of life and death, the impermanence of all that is.

I know we will be lighting candles for our ancestors, and visiting our cat memorial garden with angels Merlin, his sister Coco, Gris Gris and Radish. Layla has photographed Merlin’s special burial mound through all four seasons. It will be included in our pet loss book. It’s shocking how dramatic the visual seasonal changes are and a reminder to cherish the present moment.

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How much more can I love Japanese cat lovers? Check out the trailer from Cat Nation.

Cat Nation: A film about Japan’s crazy cat culture from 100th Monkey Films on Vimeo.

Sure, things might get wild and woolly this week but you might as well laugh as my mom Layla says. May I say: CATS if you need any prodding? Besides, today is NATIONAL Let’s LAUGH Day

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Our snow is mostly gone (for now) and our fur gang is in hibernation mode except for Odin, who I’m not convinced is a normal cat.

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However or whatever you celebrate, we hope the new season ushers in a breath of purrfectly delightful fresh air with love and laughter.

Love,

Clyde, Odin, Domino, Nou Nou & our human typewriter, Layla

Our favorite hibernation activity is reading. Everything old can be new again when it comes to enjoying old cat books.

If you love vintage cat books, they are often worth buying for the illustrations like this art deco era book The Cat Whose Whiskers Slipped by Ruth Campbell. It makes me wonder how whiskers can slip. Mine fan and curl but never slip, at least not to my knowledge. If you know anything about whisker slipping, please leave a comment.

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Oh my whiskers! I found a gorgeous vintage copy from 1937. It’s a different cover but also illustrated by Elizabeth Cadie.

P.S. If you’d prefer something brand new, Odin is plugging our book. He’s a not such a nutty furbro after all. Includes affliate links. Good boy!

And our e-book on Gumroad is on sale  for only 99 cents. That’s a cause for celebration!

Saying Good-bye To Black Cat Claudette On Napping Day

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Saying Good-bye To Black Cat Claudette On Napping Day by feline editor Clyde.

The words churned in my furry little black head but sputtered. I will share instead these edited words from our Saturday Instagram post and a little Zen wisdom. It is indeed Napping Day and I in need of a very long nap where I will dream of green fields and leaping from cloud to cloud with my dearly departed panthers.

Yours,

Clyde (Yes, I’m in the St. Patrick Day spirit)

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In 1360, at the age of 77, Zen master Kozan Ichikyo gathered his pupils and told them that, upon his death, they should bury his body, perform no ceremony and hold no services in his memory. Sitting in the traditional Zen posture, he wrote the following Haiku poem and promptly died.

Empty-handed I entered the world
Barefoot I leave it.
My coming, my going — 
Two simple happenings
That got entangled.

Sit back dear ones, and please take a moment to read. It’s long but timely. Scroll to the end for an important announcement. We’ve mourned the sudden death of two book contributors recently and today, I sadly announce a third. What makes it more tragic is the story. Last year, a video of three black kittens filled me with joy. They jumped and tumbled with glee in a fairy tale forest in France. Their pure aliveness captured in photos enthralled and I knew I had to include them in my book Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images.

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What made it more perfect and feel-good was the kindness of their humans who adopted a cat mom Sasha and her three kittens Boudine, Frisbee and Claudette.@thelittlecat.diaries

The kittens grew up and last autumn a grizzled black tom cat appeared one day and decided he had found his long lost fur family. And so Baldrick, the black cat dad completed the happy family of five. Life was as good as it gets. Doting human and feline parents, a beautiful home in the stunning green countryside near the Pyrenees mountains of South West France, the freedom to enjoy the natural beauty as fully as any cat can hope or dream of. The property gated, the rural area protected, the roads quiet, the cats knew the lay of the land and were kept safely home each night. All were hunters except Claudette. She had no interest in killing but loved washing her sister and mom several times a day. Outdoors she ran like the wind, climbing higher and faster than the others.

As I cat behaviorist, I feel the quality of life versus the risk of being an indoor/outdoor cat in a safe supervised situation, is a risk but one that I choose for two of my four cats. It’s an individual choice every cat parent must make. Years ago, my cat Merlin who lived to almost 22 was hit by car. He survived and I have no doubt his indoor/outdoor lifestyle added to his longevity. He lived life to the fullest and so did Claudette until her life was cut short from a hit and run.  Her cat mom, Debbie and cat dad, Tom found her lifeless body but rushed her to the vet anyway. We won’t know exactly what happened but she is buried in a special spot in the garden where wild flowers bloom.

We mourn her loss and shake our heads at the randomness. As a cat parent, I would have done nothing different. Accidents happen. In the home, outdoors, in a car, even the vet’s office. We can’t predict when it’s our time to stay or go but we can savor the preciousness of life and our pets. A sudden death especially a young cat like Claudette is a double shock and with it a myriad of emotions. I hope it’s a small comfort to know they are not alone, and that’s not only important to honor a loss but that it’s okay to grieve.

For those of us who know the heartache of pet loss, know the wild ride of emotions and also know that our cats grieve too. The entire Instagram cat community has suffered enormous losses (pet and human) in the past year and I’m grateful for the support of our big-hearted friends. The legacy of Claudette’s beautiful spirit will live on in our book to inspire other to adopt black cats. She was an exquisite beauty and I chose her a photo from her last photo shoot to create her memorial tribute. She was the most sensitive one of the kittens and shared a deep bond with Debbie who always kept an eye out for her.

There is something wise and all-knowing in her gaze. Soar with the angels and shine on dear Claudette. You are in our heart forever. We are creating a new weekly memorial feature and our @BlackcatsofIG community on Instagram to honor and support all those grieving the loss of their cat. Please use our new hashtag #coitribute so we can visit your post and each other.  Our pet loss research study continues and a special little book of comfort for cat lovers will be published this year.

Debbie has reposted the joyful video of the kittens in the forest and a glorious sunset pic with a heavenly sign from Claudette. Take a peak at @thelittlecat.diaries

Pet Sitters Week Feature: Ally McPets Owner Jill Rose Celebrates 25 Years as a Professional Pet Sitter

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Not all pet sitters are created equal or we wouldn’t have a litany of horror stories. Jill Rose would know, she has worked as a professional pet sitter her entire adult life and is celebrating her 25th year in business at Ally McPets in Southern California. After all these years Jill has seen it all from cats, dogs, parrots to iguanas but our focus today is on cats.

Pet Sitters International is celebrating their 24th annual Professional Pet Sitters Week from March 4-10, 2018.  Four years ago we interviewed the extraordinary pet sitter Jill Rose and wanted to do an update with Jill’s views on the pet sitting world and how it’s changed. We chatted at length and it was reassuring to hear her effervescent voice of pawsitivity. I was happy to hear her dog, Norm, now six is doing well and her cat Zeke, age 12 is as cute as ever and there is a new dog, Ruby and a couple of Zebra finches.

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Professional pet sitter Jill Rose with her rescue dog, Norm.

I’m a staunch advocate of professional pet sitters versus boarding. Unlike dogs who are pack animals and enjoy doggie daycare, cats do not. They are creatures of habit and prefer staying at home. That means finding the right person for your pet sitting needs. Even if a person belongs to a professional pet sitting organization Jill recommends a face to face meeting. This handy pet sitter checklist outlines what to ask anyone you’re considering cat-sitting for you.

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Jill has good news and not so good news about the pet sitting industry.

The good news is the growing interest in responsible cat care, and a vast array of toys, scratchers and other products that didn’t exist four years ago, let alone twenty years. It’s no wonder the pet industry topped 67 billion last year. We are showing our love for cats from buying treats and catnip, toys galore to dedicated cat rooms with places to climb , perch or hide. Jill said, “I’m seeing clients who aren’t afraid to decorate to enhance their cat’s well being including building catios.”

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The public is more informed with options like never before. We’ve blogged about catios for years but it seemed like something exotic until recently. We really have come a long way thanks to the glut of books, blogs, videos and TV shows. There is nothing crazy cat lady about loving cats anymore. Twenty-five years ago some would have considered pro pet sitting a crazy choice but Jill and her supportive mom were ahead of their time.

There was a time when Jill had to explain the service she provides is a real job. It’s much more than looking after a pet and there isn’t much sitting. Jill and her assistants walk dogs, ferry pets to groomers, vet visits, administer meds, insulin shots or subcutaneous fluids. Even overnight visits are possible. And heaven forbid there is an emergency, they are certified in CPR and first aid. It’s serious business which means being fully licensed, insured and bonded. I don’t know about you but I’m not comfortable letting a neighborhood kid or stranger into my home overnight. Too many things can go wrong which is why I’m a passionate advocate of providing the best possible care for beloved pets.

We live in uncertain times, and anything we can do to reduce anxiety is my motto. For me it’s being prepared. For cats, it’s keeping their routine familiar. Jill has seen some of the same clients go through several lifespans of adoption, death and adoption. “Some clients have me in their wills as a designated pet care provider until their pets are placed in their new home, Jill says. She recommends that everyone have provisions in their will for their pets. She gives her clients “in case of emergency” cards to place in the car and wallet with her info.  That’s a great idea for everyone. If something happens and for whatever reason you cant get home, have a point of contact and your vet info on a Pet Emergency Care Card.

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The downside to all the pet love? “The competition and inexperienced pet sitters says Jill. Twenty-five years ago there were maybe 5 pet sitters in our Redondo Beach area. Now there are over a 100. People think that it’s an easy business to get into and make quick cash.”

With the rise of Uber-style tech apps like Rover, costs are lower but so is the level of pet care. There is no consistent person providing the service and certainly not the level of expertise or experience. Sure you might get lucky with a friend or neighbor or a listing on Craigslist but why chance it.

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).  In 2018, the estimates are 90 million dogs and cats are now leading in popularity at 95 million. With pet owners more mobile but away from home, pets need more care from non-owners on regular basis. And no, it’s not okay to leave your cat alone for the weekend.

On a personal note: I have never left my cats alone even overnight. It’s too risky. Illness and accidents can happen but things can go wrong with the home itself from electrical, heating or plumbing issues to external issues of severe weather to break ins. Cats have escaped from broken window screens or doors not closed properly from a careless caregiver.

I find it ironic that some cat owners will buy pricey sweaters or costumes, luxury cat bowls or beds, feed high end food and balk at spending $2o+ for a pet sitter visit. This what Jill offers for $22 which is a bargain compared to rates in New York.  Every city and every professional pet sitter will have a range of rates. Lucky pet owners in the Redondo Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdes area south of L.A. might get Jill at Ally McPets  Check out their latest news and photos on Facebook and now on Instagram

Pet sitting visits include:

  • Feeding meals
  • Change water
  • Most medication administration** (see below)
  • Walking/play time and/or brushing
  • Poop Patrol/Scoop Litter Box
  • Bring in mail/newspapers/packages
  • Trash out on trash day
  • Alternate lights/blinds
  • Light plant watering
  • Setting your alarm
  • Double checking gates to ensure they are closed after lawn or pool service

    Jill Rose

I’m curious as a cat. What is the cost of a cat sitter in your area?

March Vintage Cat Madness And Present Sadness

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Happy Mancat Monday with your friendly feline editor Clyde. Mind you, I’m feeling more bearish or lionish with the stormy weather. March arrived with the roar of a lion. Snow, sleet and a wicked wind knocked down massive tree limbs. Who knows if the Farmer’s Almanac is right about March coming in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. The only thing I know for sure is spring is coming officially if not obviously.

It’s with a heavy heart to have to announce the unthinkable. Another book contributor of ours has died suddenly.  We posted our tribute at our @BlackcatsofIG Instagram community for the dear Persian queen @Kootythecat.

She was our only cat from the Middle East and I’d like to think she is flying on her magic rainbow bridge carpet. Fly free dearest girl. See you one day.

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A new month means a new/old cat art. So old it’s antique from 1896. Frankly, if there was a juicy bunny sitting beside me, I would not be serenading it with sweet music.

March like a Lion, Hare or Lamb

Odin agrees 110% having first hand experience in bunny hunting. We’re all been hunkered down indoors snoozing and binge-watching films. If you’ve never seen the classic Harry and Tonto, fire up your Netflix. It’s miles and decades ahead of its time and stars a ginger cat with Oscar-worthy acting chops. Art Carney won the Oscar for his role in 1975 and deserved it. It turned out Carney did not like cats and the crew placed bits of liver on his clothing to make Tonto, the cat the character he doted on, seem affectionate.

 

And look at this sweet black kitten from a home movie from 1958.  It’s cute until the woman picks up the cat at the end. We know now that scruffing a cat is painful and never a good idea.

Dear me, all this vintage nostalgia is making me feel old. Wait! I am old. Although not as old as the cat we featured on Instagram on the weekend. One senior puss 20+ was rescued and has found her forever foster home. The vintage cat food ad dates from 1949. I assure you no cat would appear glossy coated after a few portions of any food. It make you wonder if the cheap food then was actually better than now.

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oldest rescue cat

A blast from the past with Odin, dreaming of bunnies, Domino perfecting the half loaf and Angel Gris Gris plotting world domination.

It goes to show you, it’s never too late for feline love. If you don’t mind me asking, what the oldest cat you’ve had the pleasure to live with?

Up to 50% Off Invitations, Bunting Flags, Paper Napkins & More – Use Code: MARCHSALEZAZ Starts: 03/05/2018 Expires: 03/08/2018 11:59 PM PST

Black Panther Film A Leg Up For Black Cat Adoption?

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Cats, Feline Funnies, Reviews & interviews

Black Panther Film A Leg Up For Black Cat Adoption? by Layla Morgan Wilde

 

The Black Panther block-buster film is reaping box office gold and perhaps a purrfectly unexpected bonus for black cats. We hope our nonprofit book Black Cats Tell All to raise awareness and shelter adoption rates for black cats will benefit. All post images via Instagram.

The Daily Dot reports that one blogger on Tumblr (which has gone viral) recently posted about

“Unexpected Benefit of Black Panther: my local pet shelters went from having something like 50-60 black cats between them to having NONE, becuase they’ve all been adopted out and named after the characters. “T’challa” is the most popular, but there are a fair number of “Okoye”s and “Shuri”s as well.

…and one very confused Elderly Humane Society Volunteer wondering why someone would name such a sweet cat “Killmonger”.

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Traditionally considered unlucky, black cats (Friday the 13th, anyone?) black cats have needed good PR — and, loving forever homes since forever.  Whether from superstition or simply the fact there are more black cats in shelters, they can use a leg up getting adopted. We’ve shared positive black cat messaging for years through regular features of  black cat art, lucky black cat vintage cards and celebrity black cat profiles. Our own panther Clyde has his own column posting black cat positivity every Monday.

But our #1 black cat advocacy involved creating Black Cat Awareness Month and publishing BLACK CATS TELL ALL: TRUE TALES AND INSPIRING IMAGES featuring over 100 amazing black cats from around the world including many Instagram influencers and celebricat Cole of Cole and Marmalade, feline YouTube stars

Our black cat Instagram community celebrate #blackpantherpawty #pantherthursday #blackpanthercat and many other hashtags. We got this in the bag.

Comments to the original Tumblr post voice concern over the sudden interest as a fad. Most shelters strive to vet potential adopters with questions about their reason for adopting and ability to provide proper care. Adopting any cat is a long-term commitment. As the longevity of cats increases, that  means a commitment of 20+ years.

Although the evidence appears to be anecdotal thus far,  cat lovers seem to be encouraged. Visit Petfinder now to find your mini-panther or pantherette. What you name him or her is up to you but I’d think twice about Killmonger.

Support black cat love by joining our black cat community on Instagram @BlackcatsofIG on Facebook @blackcatstellall and buying a copy of Black Cat Tell All on Amazon (affiliate link) or directly from our Black Cats Tell All shop (autographed with free shipping) or e-book on Gumroad on sale for 99 cents!

Amazing_cat_Narnia

The Truth About Amazing Narnia The Two-Faced Cat

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The Truth About Amazing Narnia The Two-Faced Cat and Internet Sensation by Layla Morgan Wilde

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When a cat goes viral, the media often posts before fact-checking. That’s why you’ll see many pop culture news outlets doing copycat reporting. It takes time to research, write and edit a good story but it starts with getting the facts. We believe our readers deserve to know the truth and we love going the extra-mile to find it.

Why certain cats go viral or gradually become famous remains a mystery. I’ve worked with dozens of celebrity cats big and small over the years and it’s not just about insta-fame but staying power. The public is fickle and there are millions of cats online. Every so often a simply stunning cat emerges into the spotlight. Today Narnia is the cat’s meow or as they say in French, le miaulement du chat.

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Narnia with proud cat mom and breeder Stephanie Jimenez

Narnia is a fast-rising star and whenever there are photos of unusual cats online they get stolen or not given proper credit or attribution. This is timely reminder for those of you who post photos online to please watermark all your images. All images used with permission and are from the Facebook or Instagram accounts @amazingnarnia.

Whether you call Narnia two-faced, two-toned or a miracle, he is a rare jewel. Most famous celebrity cats are American so it’ll be fascinating to see how this gorgeous French chat noir grows his kingdom. Narnia_kittens

16 Sweet Facts About Narnia The Celebricat.

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  1. Narnia is a male British short hair (75%). His full name is Narnia De La Grace.
  2. Born in 2017, he will celebrate his 1st birthday March 28, 2018. His astrological sign is Aries.
Narnia_kitten_chimera
Little nugget Narnia as a kitten. Narnia was  born with a rare genetic mutation which has seen described as a chimera. This is not yet proven as a fact. The only way to prove it is with a DNA test.

3. Chimera cat mutation is caused when two fertilized cells or two embryos with their individual DNA fuse together. It is most commonly seen in calico cats. The most famous chimera cats are Venus an American beauty with 1.4 million Instagram followers and Quimera from Argentina.

4. Narnia’s face is evenly divided with black on the left side and blue/gray on the right side. His eyes are blue, his body black except for a couple white spots on the chin, ruff and hind paw.

5. Narnia is French and lives in a suburb of Paris.

6. His cat mom is a cat breeder Stéphanie Jimenez of Catterie De La Grace @amazingnarnia on Instagram.

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7. As of January 2018 Narnia is a professional show cat. His first show was The Paris Animal Show on Jan.12, 13. He’s a naturally sweet-tempered charmer comfortable in front of judges and cameras.

8. Many of the images circulating online of Narnia (with and without attribution) are by Paris-based photographer Jean-Michel Labin who specializes in animal photography. 

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Photo credit: Jean-Michel Labin

9. Narnia’s lineage. He mother is a British Blue short hair named Jeen from the catterie Virvarvon. His father is Muscari D’Aerlin, part red mackerel tabby with turquoise eyes.

10. The cattery De La Grace was certified by LOOP in 2015. 

11. Narnia is part of the British Celestia project with four other breeders to produce British shorthair cats with blue eyes. The project launched in August 2016 with permission from LOOP. the only recognized feline studbook for purebred cats born in France.

12. Spanish for “blue eyes”, the Ojos Azules is a rare breed with large blue eyes discovered in New Mexico in 1984. Their coat may be long or short and demonstrate solid colors or patterns.

13. For more details about the rarity and genetics involved with blue-eyed breeds, read Sara Hartwell.

14. The Celestia (Céleste) project was launched by Sophie Guittonneau of Catterie Aerlin. She teamed up with four other breeders and close collaborators. They include: Stéphanie Jimenez Chatterie De La Grace Dr. Vanessa Marmolejo, a veterinarian from the cattery of Lazycat Company Ghislaine Michel-Paulsen, from the cattery of Virvarnon (where you can see the program’s geneology Celeste geneology) and Sylvie Huber, from the cattery Gummis en Sucres

15. All the catteries mentioned are small with no cages. The cats enjoy a natural life as part of the family including outdoor life when possible. Once retired they remain with the family.

16. There are wedding plans for Narnia in the spring but who the lucky lady will be is in the air.

Follow Narnia for his latest adventures on his new Facebook page or Instagram @amazingnarnia. 

I wish this video was made horizontally but it is the most recent. See Narnia play fighting at home with his fur brother. Note the distinct markings and cute white “sock”.