And the Winner is…

My Three Cats & Co, Inc. would like to thank everyone who entered the Unique Cat Name Contest.  The winner of the contest received a beautiful set of Melia ceramic hand painted cat food and water bowls, personalized with their cat’s name on each bowl.  First prize went to Barbara Shultis and her cat Matei.  The second place winner is Pat Ferrey and her cat Tinkerbelle.  Congratulations to our winners and a special thanks to all participants for sharing touching stories about your cats.

Meet Matei

Matei We were heartbroken when one of our cats passed away last year at 19 years of age. Of the two remaining, one seemed to take the loss especially hard. After careful thought, we looked to a local shelter for a kitten as a new companion for him. It so happened that the shelter was having a “2 for 1” event. We had every intention of leaving with only one feline, a lively little black fur ball we were both taken with. He had a companion who had been abandoned at a train station, and they asked if we might consider him too. We thought “this will mean four cats”, but this little orange guy had such a sad and hopeful look, that we couldn’t leave him behind. We named him “Matei” which is Celtic for “gift from God”, since we didn’t anticipate his arrival. He has been the most loving animal I have ever had, and we couldn’t imagine life without him. I believe both he and the name were chosen for us before we entered the shelter.

Meet Tinkerbelle

Hi there.  I’m Tinkerbelle.  I was losted on the South Side of Pittsburgh.  Someone nice took me to Tinkerbelle the Humane Society and they took care of me and placed me at Pet Smart in the North Hills for adoption.  My future dad spotted me hiding behind the sign and pulled me out of the cage.  Immediately I went into investigative mode and checked out my future mom’s purse and then looked in the cages at each of the other kitties.  Mom and dad took me home and I met my new brother, Cleo, who wasn’t too, too happy at first, but I’ve brought him around.  Now he’s really cool to chase and play it-tag with.  My new home was full of lots and lots of toys and the first night I was a busy kitty checking them out and ‘arranging’ them to suit me.  I’m a little tuxedo kitty.  My white muzzle makes me look like a little bear.  I’ve got mittens on my front paws and go-go boots on the hind paws. When playing with toys I tend to pounce and then stand up to throw them around and generally prance across the room just like a little fairy.  Therefore, mom decided my name is Tinkerbelle, since I’m such a little girly kitty who dances.

Cat Cake Extraordinaire!

cat_cake The owner of Bogey’s BlogSphere has a daughter who devoted many hours to creating the most beautiful and original birthday cake for her mother.   The photos you will now see by clicking this link take you step-by-step through the process.   This truly was a labor of love.  Thank you, Nicole – you are the best daughter a mother could hope for.

Cats Do Get “Spring Fever”…

Kelly and the sparrow converse.
Kelly and the sparrow converse.

Most veterinarians will tell you that springtime is a dangerous time for cats as people open their windows for some fresh air, thinking their cat will be sensible and not jump several stories to the ground…unfortunately, they do. Cats’ depth perception is not considered to be too keen as their best visual acuity is in focusing on prey, one item in a jumbled landscape, so the distance from windowsill or deck railing to the ground isn’t really clear for kitty, especially with a now full of intoxicating spring air. Also, even the most sensible cat will be tempted by a bird flying by, or a leaf or any moving object out the window. Before you open your window make sure the screen is tightly in place, and don’t assume that your cat can’t figure out how to push it out of the way, or that it can’t get out of a window that’s “just open a crack”. Sometimes you have to think for kitty. For an interesting video about cats and falls from windows and high places, and to see an explanation of just how a cat turns itself so it lands on its feet—most of the time—view this video on the National Geographic website (it begins with and advertisement, just be patient): http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/animals/mammals-animals/cats/cats_domestic_ninelives.html

The Daily Cat: Never Ask About a Lady’s Hair Color…You’ll Get a Lecture on Genetics

The tortoiseshell face.
The tortoiseshell face.

Are all calico and tortoiseshell cats female? Are 80% of orange cats male? Neither one! But the myths have a basis in fact and you’ve got to learn some complicated genetics to understand why it seems that way. Some coat colors are linked to X and Y chromosomes and some are just out there. Some actually cause a coat to be a certain color while others just influence the possibilities. Let’s take X and Y and male and female and black fur and orange fur and white fur, toss all the possibilities in the air and see what falls out. Cats basically have three coat colors, black, white and orange, or red as it’s known to breeders. They also have patterns, and some breeds have specific dilutions or combinations of these colors that may seem like brown or blue or even purple, but they are actually variations on these shades. We’re just talking about the distribution of the big three colors. Leaving white out of the mix for another day, coat colors orange and black are carried on the X chromosome. Because males are XY, only getting one X from their mom, they tend to be whatever color that X carries, orange or black, nice and simple. But females are XX and actually inherit, not only two options for coat color, but two actual coat colors. If both X chromosomes are black OR orange, she is either black or orange, but if one is black AND one is orange, she is BOTH, forming patches because each skin cell has a tendency for one color or the other! So to answer, first, the “80% of orange cats are male” theory, male cats have one chance at color because of their one X chromosome, while females get TWO chromosomes and BOTH have to be orange for her to be orange because if only one is orange she is calico, so it simply reduces the chances of her being orange. Now for the theory that “all calico or tortoiseshell cats are female”, it’s close to true but it’s not a hard and fast rule. For a cat to have two coat colors it needs to have two X chromosomes; males normally only have one, but they can, like humans, have the Klinefelter’s XXY and therefore have two coat colors, though they are sterile and may have related health problems. They can also have a “chimeric” coloration wherein two embryos of different coat color develop pressed together and impress their colors on each other, and orange cats will sometimes develop a black spot as humans develop birthmarks, thereby having three coat colors. These last two tri-color males are as fertile as any other, so don’t assume they don’t need to be neutered! None of these is common but can be found, and contrary to popular opinion, they are no more valuable than any other mixed-breed cat, but just as loving and worthy of a good home.