Tag Archives: cats

Portraits Of Famous Artists, And The Cats That Kept Them Sane


Portraits Of Famous Artists, And The Cats That Kept Them Sane

 “I think the artist and cat are kindred spirits, because they are often mythologized,” author Alison Nastasi explained to The Huffington Post. “Both are frequently stereotyped as being aloof or even self-interested.”

Nastasi is the mind behind Artists and Their Cats, an aptly named compilation of photographs illustrating the historic partnership of, well, cat and artist. From Pablo Picasso to Frida Kahlo to Salvador Dali, the book reveals the felines behind some of the biggest painters and sculptors in the business. Because there’s nothing more enchanting than the friendships forged between achingly creative icons and the four-legged creatures that probably kept them sane.

daliSalvador Dali and his ocelot. World Telegram & Sun photo by Roger Higgins; image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

As Nastasi points out, cats tend to co-exist with their owners, generally demanding less attention than a dog — the more dependent of the domestic pets. “I think that’s necessary for an artist, whose focus is usually on what’s happening in the studio,” she added. “There’s a mutual respect or symbiosis … Working in the studio can be isolating sometimes. Cats bring life to a space that still provides an artist with the necessary alone time to thrive.”

The idea for the book started at Flavorwire, where Nastasi works as a weekend editor. After reading an article about Tracey Emin and her beloved cat Docket, Nastasi — whose own cat had just died — wrote a simple listicle for the website about artists and their whiskered sidekicks. Chronicle Books spotted the round-up and voila! A project was born. Nastasi sourced from libraries, photo archives and artist families to create her “family album” of sorts, featuring tender moments between animal and man.

Many of the artist-cat duos featured in Nastasi’s book predate Internet culture’s feline obsession. Not that the author has a problem with the contemporary phenomenon. “I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “Internet culture’s cat obsession has helped bring attention to various animal rescue organizations and special-needs animals that might have been previously ignored. Animal celebs like Lil BUB and Grumpy Cat help spread awareness about adoption and spaying/neutering, and have donated to various charities.”

For more on Agnès Varda and her cat Zgougou, Henri Matisse and his Minouche and Coussi, or Patti Smith and her furry guardian, check out Artists and Their Cats in its entirety. Meanwhile, here’s a preview of the compilation.

  • Georgia O’Keeffe and her cat. Photograph by John Candelario. Courtesy Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA), 165660.
  • Henri Matisse and his cat. © Robert Capa © International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos.
  • Edward Gorey and his cat. Photo by Eleanor Garvey; used by permission.
  • John Cage and his cat. Courtesy of the John Cage Trust.
  • Wanda Gag and her cat. World Telegram & Sun photo by Roger Higgins; image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
  • Florence Henri and her cat. Courtesy Archive Florence Henri/Martini & Ronchetti, Genoa.
  • Agnes Varda and her cat. Photograph by Didier Doussin; used by permission.
  • Arthur Rackham and his cats. Image courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.
  • Claude Cahun and her cat. Photo courtesy of the Jersey Heritage Museum.
  • Philip Burne Jones and his cat. Photo by Bain News Service, no date listed; image courtesy of the Library of Congress.
  • World Telegram & Sun photo by Roger Higgins; image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Never Drink Alone Again Because Now There’s Wine for Cats


Never Drink Alone Again Because Now There’s Wine for Cats

animated-gifs-8-04 (1)

cat wine

Paying for Petting Time in Japan’s Cat Cafes

In Osaka, Japan, where many apartment dwellers aren’t allowed to keep pets, cat fanciers spend time with their favorite felines at the Cats’ Time Cafe

You never have to drink alone again, because now you can drink with your cats. At least in Japan you can, because a Japanese company called B&H Lifes has begun selling wine made specifically for cats.

This special feline libation is called “Nyan Nyan Nouveau.” As Kotaku reports, “nyan nyan” is the Japanese equivalent of “meow meow.” (Oh hey, remember Nyan Cat?) This cat wine doesn’t really contain any alcohol, but it does contain juice made from Cabernet grapes, along with catnip. So just accept it. It’s wine. For cats.

Nyan Nyan Nouveau costs 399 yen (or $4) for a bottle, and the company is only producing a thousand of them, so you should probably act fast.

why cats are bad-asses

Cats are the animal kingdom's natural ninjas.
1. Cats are the animal kingdom’s natural ninjas.
Cats don't walk tightwires, they chill out on them.
2. Cats don’t walk tightwires, they chill out on them.
While their size is small, their curiosity is HUGE.
3. While its size is small, a cat’s curiosity is huge.
Cats are America's most popular pet.
4. Cats are America’s most popular pet.
Cats don't give a crap where you think they fit on the food chain.
5. Cats don’t give a crap where you think they fit on the food chain.
Cats bully alligators for lunch money.
6. Cats bully alligators for their lunch money.
If it comes down to it, cats can fight like motherf****s.
7. If it comes down to it, cats can fight like motherf****s.
They're comfortable on the ground, in the trees, and even in the air.
8. Cats are comfortable on the ground, in the trees, and even in the air.
All the metal, none of the face-paint.
9. Cats are all the metal with none of the face-paint.
Cats are protective.
10. While dogs are known as the loyal protectors, check out this cat protecting his home.




The news you’re not supposed to know…

  Science/Technology Source: PARADE Magazine Print

How Much Do Animals Really Know?

Scientists are taking a new look at the surprising evidence.
By Eugene Lınden

We all want to believe our pet is as smart as it seems, and every now and then a dog or cat does something astonishing. In 2003 in Kentucky, a dog named Scooby limped to a vet’s office after being hit by a car. A year later in Richland, Wash., a rottweiler named Faith hit 911 on the speed dial with its nose and barked into the phone after its owner fell out of her wheelchair.

Are these slam-dunk cases of animal intelligence? The answer used to be a definitive “no,” but now we can say “maybe.” 

Scientists are seeing evidence of higher mental abilities in a wider range of animals than previously imagined. They have also observed unexpected traits and skills, like empathy and the ability to fashion weapons.

Empathy—being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes—is important because it is the basis of morality. But empathy is very difficult to prove. Actions don’t always imply intent. Thus, skeptics have tended to dismiss accounts of chimps helping other chimps, dolphins saving drowning people and elephants supporting their injured herd mates. In lab experiments, rats have been shown to refuse food if their eating causes suffering for other rats. But Harvard biologist Marc Hauser has pointed out that the rats might simply be avoiding unpleasant squealing. 

Empathy relies on self-awareness. Only an animal that recognizes itself can understand another’s plight. So there’s the gauntlet: If you can prove that an animal knows it is a separate creature from others, the case for animal empathy becomes stronger.

A widely used test for a sense of self is to see whether an animal recognizes itself in a mirror. Experimenters will put a mark on an animal’s forehead, then place the animal in front of a mirror. Monkeys, cats and rats react as though they are encountering another member of their species and have shown no curiosity about the mark. By contrast, dolphins and great apes realize that they are looking at themselves.

Do elephants care? 
Elephants have the largest brain of any land animal, but not much is known about how they use it. 

Last fall, Joshua Plotnik, an Emory University graduate student, published the results of a mirror test he’d done with elephants. Working with Emory’s Frans de Waal, a pioneer in the study of chimpanzee intelligence, and Diana Reiss, who devised a version of the mirror test for dolphins, Plotnik installed a sturdy 8×8-foot Plexiglass mirror in an enclosure at New York City’s Bronx Zoo. Keepers painted a white X on the foreheads of three females—Maxine, Patty and Happy. Then Plotnik sat back and enjoyed the show.

The results were fascinating. The three females seemed to recognize right off the bat that the image was not another elephant. They experimented with the reflected image just like kids—moving their heads to the side and watching how the mirror image reacted. Happy used the image to guide her trunk so that she could examine the white X marked on her forehead. 

It may not sound like much, but this means that Happy has a prerequisite for recognizing that another animal—or human—needs help. And if Happy has the capacity for empathy, so do all elephants.

That’s what seemed to happen once at the Indianapolis Zoo. Sophi, a female elephant, watched her keepers push a heavy cart across the yard after cleaning up the enclosure. The elephant had never received any training to do chores, but suddenly she started to push too. Was Sophi displaying empathy? We have no way of knowing, notes Deborah Olson, a director at the zoo, but the staff keenly felt Sophi’s attachment to them.

Actually, examples of animal empathy have long been noted. What’s new today is that scientists seem ready to accept the idea that animals may be conscious or smart. Frans de Waal cites an example of chimp empathy dating back to 1910: A Russian scientist couldn’t get a chimp to come down from a roof unless she pretended she was hurt. Only now are such stories receiving a hearing in the scientific establishment. 

“We are now much freer to talk about mental processes and emotions in animals that 15 years ago would have been laughed out of the room,” says de Waal.

Animals bearing arms
The use of tools—and weapons—is considered a mark of higher intelligence. In the 1960s, the idea that animals might fashion weapons was the stuff of science-fiction films. Then, in 1999, a team led by Richard Wrangham of Harvard observed chimps using sticks to beat other chimps. Even more stunning were reports published this spring by Jill Pruetz of Iowa State University about chimps in the savannas of Senegal fashioning sticks into spears, which they used to hunt small primates called bush babies. 

These chimps may have been hunting for a very long time—there’s evidence that they pass on such expertise from generation to generation. The primatologist Christophe Boesch has observed chimps using granite stones to crack panda nuts in the Ivory Coast’s Tai Forest since the 1980s. But this year, Boesch and Julio Mercader of the University of Calgary uncovered nut-cracking stones in that same forest dating back 4,300 years—even before early Africans started using agriculture. This means that, unknown to science, the chimps have been doing something in close proximity to humans for thousands of years.

As scientists continue to investigate evidence of intelligence, empathy and foresight in animals, we’re also likely to broaden our understanding of the origins and nature of human ingenuity. Such studies should increase our respect for the other creatures with whom we share the planet.



Hey, I saw this on BuzzFeed and thought of you. 

19 GIFs Of Cats Going Crazy For Treats 

It’s a well known fact that cats love treats!Especially TEMPTATIONS® Treats for Cats! A shake of the bag is all it takes to make your cat’s mouth water. Come take a peek at these excited little guys.