Happy New Year! And, to our feline friends, Happy Mew Year! (Cats celebrate the new year on the 2nd.) As we leave 2023 behind and sail on into 2024, news, entertainment, and social media sites are all looking back on the last 12 months, offering various best of lists and takes, and discussing the year’s high and low moments. Our feline friends may be more inclined to napping on a magazine or newspaper than taking in those opinion pieces, but that doesn’t mean we have to leave them out of these discussions. As it turns out, Fluffy had quite a few big moments last year! A local Louisville, KY vet goes over some of them in this article.
CNN recently reported that a Pennsylvania shelter was over the moon to announce that they had full vacancy. For the first time in 47 years, every cage in the shelter was empty. We hope that all of the newly-adopted pets are enjoying lots of love, cuddles, and treats. It’s early to tell, but we also hope to see more of these stories next year.
Kittens Fall In Love With Their New Digs
That isn’t the only bit of news coming from a shelter this year. A pair of Indianapolis shelter kitties melted hearts all over the internet in December. The cats, Ruby and Opal, were filmed as they moved into a new cage. This may not sound very newsworthy, but the two cats were so obviously thrilled at the upgrade that they jumped for joy. Fortunately, the pair’s antics were caught on camera. The clip, which was posted by Pepperspalrescue, went viral on Tiktok. The shelter noted that they’d already spilled food and water everywhere. (We’re not sure, but it’s probably safe to say that Ruby and Opal are now happily wreaking havoc on their forever homes.)
Spilling The Beans
Ruby and Opal weren’t the only kitties to melt hearts on TikTok this year. Another feline, Booboo, also got his fifteen minutes of fame … for making a mess. Booboo’s owner was confused as to why his water dish was always empty. The solution? Film the furball. Booboo was caught red-pawed in the act of tipping his bowl over to deliberately spill water into the rug. Cats will be cats!
The Cat That Stole Christmas
Cats somehow are never as cute as they are when they’re being naughty. One frisky feline made Santa Claws’ naughty list this year for a rather unique brand of misbehavior. Walter, the furball in question, was caught on camera stealing his owners’ holiday decorations while they slept. The kitty, who is owned by angelwingswalter in Kentucky, may not have been planning to go viral when he took off with a Christmas stocking, but that’s what ended up happening.
American kitties may have charmed millions of folks this year, but our feline friends are beloved worldwide. There may be no bigger example of that than that of a sleeping cat in a Thailand rice paddy. This may not sound particularly noteworthy, but this kitty is not a real furball, but a design that was actually planted into the rice paddy. A farmer, Tanyapong Jaikham, designed the piece and then used GPS to precisely coordinate the planting of seeds, ensuring that the various colors would grow in the right spots to create his masterpiece. His hope was for tens of thousands of people to come see the kitty, who was inspired by a traditional quote about abundance.
Adorable Serial Killers
We’re not the first ones to joke about how cats are actually adorable serial killers. However, that isn’t very far from the truth. A paper published in Nature Communications compiled information from scientists after reviewing over a century’s worth of data. The research revealed that Fluffy has preyed on over 347 different threatened species, including Newell’s shearwater, green sea turtles, the northern bobwhite quail and the little brown bat. Cats have also been linked to over 60 extinctions, and will eat over 2,084 animals and insects. (This is yet one more reason to keep your cat inside. Ask your Louisville, KY vet for more information.)
A Dog’s Game? Not So Much
While we certainly made good progress this year, it doesn’t look like we’ll completely figure our feline pals out anytime soon. However, we are making progress.
Another study, this one in Scientific Reports, focused on one of Fluffy’s lesser-known traits: her love of playing Fetch. This study compiled information from more than 1000 kitty owners, and delved into cats’ play habits. Turns out that kitties often compulsively teach themselves to Fetch. In fact, about 94 percent of those who responded said that this behavior appeared out of the blue.
Fetch, of course, is more commonly associated with dogs. However, it’s been known that our feline pals also sometimes enjoy this game. Certain breeds, such as the Siamese and Bengal, are more prone to playing this pet sport, but any cat may partake.
A Loving Pet
We also learned a bit about Fluffy’s emotions, and, in particular, her attachment to her humans, last year. A study that was published in Behavioural Processes scrutinized 53 adult kitties, all of whom were residents of a cat café in Los Angeles. The study delved into the way cats display their emotions. It turns out that Fluffy has more than 276 distinct facial expressions. (No word on how many of them would qualify as smug or disdainful.)
Of course, anyone with a kitty of their own could tell you that these furry little creatures are quite emotional and opinionated, and that many of them get very, very attached to their humans. While we may like to joke about Fluffy being cold, the truth is that our feline pals are capable of very powerful emotions, and are smarter than many people realize.
Back From The Brink
Our feline friends have also been making headlines over in Scotland. One kitty victory from 2023 is the success of a program focusing on reintroducing Scottish Wildcats. The program, Saving Wildcats, oversaw the successful release of 19 wildcats, who are being tracked by GPS collars. Another thirteen kittens are being raised in conditions that mimic the wild conditions in the Cairngorms, where the cats were released. While scientists don’t expect all of the cats to survive, it’s a great start to re-establishing a species that was declared functionally extinct.
A Purrfect Celebration
Are you planning on popping the question soon? Do you have a friend or family member that’s about to propose? Getting Fluffy involved may turn out to be a game changer. A cat insurance brand set up the website at FelixPurrfectProposal.com, as a place where people could share how their feline friends would be involved in the special occasion. A winner will be chosen, with the prize of $4,750 for an engagement ring … plus something extra for Fluffy, of course. (At this time, the jury is still choosing a winner.)
Cat Distribution System
It’s probably safe to say that, for the most part, TikTok is a double-edged sword, providing both entertainment and controversy. However, occasionally the site really does uncover something important. That’s certainly our take on one of the biggest cat-related topics this year: the Cat Distribution System. In a nutshell, this is the term for the universe’s process of distributing cats to the right people at the right time. The concept has gone viral, with many users uploading videos of themselves finding their assigned pets.
All of us here at All Pets Veterinary Center, your local Louisville, KY animal hospital, wish you a wonderful new year. Please reach out to us anytime. We look forward to providing you with the best service