Turkish Feline Lover Installs Tiny Window Ladder to Help Stray Cats Escape the Cold

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Winter in the Turkish town of Terkirdag has been particularly cold this year, but a local cat lover has come up with an ingenious solution that allows stray cats in her neighborhood to escape the chill – installing a tiny metal ladder leading up into her cozy apartment.

Sebnem Ilhan couldn’t just sit by and let the stray cats freeze to death, so she decided to open up her home to them. But since inviting them in through the front door wasn’t going to work, she had to come up with a more practical solution. The window seemed like the best choice, but even though her apartment is on the ground floor of an apartment building, the window is still to high for cats to jump on to. So she had a tiny metal ladder made that the strays could climb to reach her window.

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Indian Textbook Encourages Kids to Kill Cats as an Experiment

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The authors of a Class IV textbook in India recently came under fire, after it was revealed that in a lesson on the importance of breathing they were literally encouraging the kids to do an experiment involving suffocating a cat.

It sounds hard to believe that a school textbook for environmental studies could teach children as young as 9 years old to kill an animal as an experiment, but it’s sadly true. Twitter user Lola Kuttiamma shared photos of the book passages concerning the absurd experiment, and people understandably were outraged about it. “Living things breathe”, the textbook explains. “No living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes. “You can do an experiment. Take two wooden boxes. Make holes on lid of one box. Put a small kitten in each box. Close the Boxes. After some time open the boxes. What do you see? The kitten in the box with no holes has died.”

Wow, is that educational or what? And they’re not even suggesting using adult cats, but cute little kittens. Not that grown cats would have made it any more acceptable, but kittens just make it sound even crueler. And if you thought things couldn’t possibly get worse, you were wrong. The textbook, entitled “Our Green World: Environment Studies”, also features a couple of pictograms, with one kitten alive and well in the box with holes in it, and the other, well, dead.

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Welcome to Catzonia – World’s First 5-Star Hotel for Cats Opens in Malaysia

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Temperature-controlled rooms, king-size beds, a dreamy playground and gourmet chow are just some of the things felines can enjoy at Catzonia, the world’s first five-star hotel for cats.

Located in Damansara, just outside Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Catzonia was set up to offer pampered felines a lavish holiday whenever they need a break from their daily routine, or when their loving masters are away and can’t offer them the attention they deserve. Featuring a total of 35 rooms split into four categories, Catzonia is manned by a crew of feline lovers who promise to play with the guests, groom them and generally make sure their stay is as comfortable as possible.

“We believe that cats need holidays too,” the Catzonia Hotel website states. “They always prefer to be treated as a boss. It means the environment must be felt like home, always being cuddled and hugged, and most importantly they don’t want to feel lonely.”

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Russian Tattoo Artists Sparks Controversy After Tattooing His Hairless Cat

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A young tattoo artist in Yekaterinburg, Russia, has been getting a lot of criticism on social media after a video of him inking his pet Sphynx cat recently went viral. To make matters worse, the owner admitted that this was not the animal’s first tattoo, and probably not the last.

The owner of the hairless cat admits that he is basically forcing the animal to share his passion for tattoos. “Of course, I feel sorry for tattooing her, because it’s not something she wants,” he says in the video. But apparently the temptation to turn the Sphynx into a walking, meowing work of art is too great. Bes already sports a large tattoo on her back, featuring a woman, a deck of cards, a prison tower and a cigarette, and in this video her owner adds a star as well.

The Yekaterinburg artist said that tattoos are a bit harder to do because the cat’s skin is a bit different than a human’s, but added that he doesn’t believe the procedure is harmful for the cat. “This isn’t her first tattoo,” he says. “She just goes under and doesn’t feel a thing. She always wakes up fine from the anesthesia and behave normally after that.”

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Someone Is Meticulously Shaving Kittens and Selling Them as Hairless Sphynx

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A number of people looking to buy hairless Sphynx cats for cheap fell victim to a scammer who meticulously shaves regular kittens to make them look exactly like the exotic breed.

Genuine Sphynx cats usually sell for $1,000 or more, so when Shayla Bastarache, from Alberta, Canada, saw an ad for a Sphynx kitten for just $650, last month, she thought it was too good a deal to pass up. There was no photo attached to the ad, but the price was so enticing that she agreed to meet the seller in a gas station parking lot an hour north of Calgary, at night. She handed him the money and received two hairless kittens, one for herself and one for a friend. Bastarache says she only realized that she had been scammed two weeks later, when both felines grew a thick coat and were revealed to be regular house cats. The cat lover, who owns two genuine Sphynx cats – for one of which she had paid $1,500 – said she was amazed by how thoroughly the animals had been shaved. “I don’t know how she did it,” Bastarche told reporters.

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Owning a Specimen of the World’s Rarest, Most Controversial Cat Breed Costs $23,000

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Created by crossing a wild Caracal and an Abyssinian cat, the Caracat is currently the world’s rarest and most expensive cat breed. It numbers only 30 specimens, and owning one costs 1.5 million Russian rubles, or $23,400.

Wild Caracals have long been revered for their exotic beauty and elegance. In ancient Egypt they were often embalmed and buried with pharaohs and depicted in intricate murals, while in China, emperors gave them away as special gifts. Even today, cat lovers are fascinated with this majestic feline and some companies sell them as domestic pets. But pure-breed Caracals can sometimes become aggressive, even if they have lived among humans for generations, which is why the Caracat was created, in 2007.

Caracats can grow up to 50 centimeters (19.7 inches) in height and weigh up to 15 kilograms (33 lbs). First generation Caracats have the distinctive black-tufted ears and long sharp claws of Caracals and screech instead of meowing. These traits fade away from the second generation, but some owners prefer to declaw them for safety, which most breeders don’t agree with, for ethical reasons.

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“Cat Man of Aleppo” Cares for Hundreds of Abandoned Felines in the War-Torn City

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The Syrian city of Aleppo is probably the most dangerous place to be living in right now, but while many of its residents have left their homes to escape the war, one man has remained behind to care for the hundreds of abandoned and stray cats.

Known as “the cat man of Aleppo”, Mohammad Alaa Jaleel has been taking care to stray felines ever since people planning to leave the city started leaving their pets in his care, knowing he loved cats. As the fighting and bombing intensified, more and more frightened animals started approaching him for food and protection, and he was always more than happy to provide them with both.  Mohammed says he started taking care of about 20 to 30 cats, but the number of feline refugees at his walled sanctuary has now swollen to over one hundred.

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Catterbox – A Smart Collar That Translates Cat Meows into Human Speech

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Cat lovers of the world, rejoice! You finally have the chance to understand what your pet is saying thanks to a smart collar that can interpret feline meows and translate it into human speech. Aptly named ‘Catterbox’, the collar supposedly has a digital sensor that detects meows, and uses a special program to decipher the meaning behind them.

Developed by London ad agency adam&eveDDB, for Temptations cat treats, the invention comes preloaded with a dictionary of cat purrs, meows, and several other sounds to make the interpretation as accurate as possible. “We’re fascinated by cats, so we set out on a mission to get to know them better,” said Pete Simmons, global brand director of Temptations.

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Feline Hachiko Has Been Waiting for Its Owners in the Same Spot for Over a Year

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Cats are generally perceived as independent, but they’re also capable of displaying undying loyalty, a quality that is usually characteristic of dogs. Proving the point is this poor Russian cat that has been waiting for its owners for over a year at the exact spot where they abandoned him.

The cat was first photographed sitting on a manhole cover in Belgorod city, in the summer of 2015, by a man named Ostap Zadunayski. He then noticed the cat sitting at the same spot day after day, and curious to know more about this unusual behavior, he asked local residents for more information.

That’s when he discovered that the cat’s owners used to live nearby, but they sold their apartment last year and moved away, leaving the poor creature behind . Eyewitnesses told Ostap that they actually saw the cat run after the car as the owners drove away. Since then, it has been patiently waiting at the same spot for their return, living off the food offered to him by kind locals.

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Animal Lover Offers $30,000 Reward for Information on His Six Missing Cats

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Steve Rosen, a cat lover from Davie, Florida, is prepared to do whatever it takes to recover his six missing pet cats. Seven of his feline have mysteriously disappeared in the last year and only one has returned to him so far. Despite hiring a private investigator and offering a hefty reward of $30,000, he has been unable to find out what happened to them.

Rosen, a retired dentist and skin care entrepreneur, claims that his cats first started disappearing in March 2015, one at a time. “They’re like my children,” he said, speaking to NBC 6. “Imagine one of your children disappears and then a month or two later, another one disappears. Granted, I know they’re not human beings, a lot of people can’t relate to it, but those of us in animal rescue would know what I mean.”

All the cats were microchipped and had radio collars, so Rosen tried looking for them himself. When that didn’t work, he hired a private investigator and also set up a $10,000 camera system to catch the thief. Those options didn’t generate any leads either, so out of sheer desperation, he decided to announce a reward to anyone who could bring his cats back or supply information to their whereabouts. At first he offered a $20,000 prize, but later increased the amount to $30,000. “I’m relying on greed,” he said.  

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The Cat Boat – Amsterdam’s Floating Sanctuary for Cats

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The Cat Boat is one of Amsterdam’s most peculiar attractions. It’s essentially a sanctuary for cats, but what makes it special is that the rescued cats all live aboard a quaint little houseboat that bobs along the Herengracht canal. Although it wasn’t intended to be a tourist attraction, Cat Boat regularly receives about 4,500 visitors a year, most of whom are tourists missing their own cats while on vacation!

The origins of the Cat Boat can be traced back to 1966, when a kind woman named Henriette van Weelde took pity on a stray feline and her kittens and allowed them into her own home. Henriette soon became well known in the neighborhood for her kindness; people would regularly drop off rescued cats at her doorstep and she wouldn’t hesitate to take them all in.

This went on for about two years, after which Henriette simply didn’t have enough room to house more cats. So she came up with a solution – she put them all on an unused houseboat on the nearby Herengracht canal. The feline sanctuary was something of a ‘pirate’ ship for about two decades, operating without the knowledge of the authorities. But in 1987, it finally got a permit and was officially christened ‘de Poezenboot’ (the Cat Boat).

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Swedish Scientists Want to Find Out if Cats Meow with an Accent Based on Where They Live

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A cat with an accent sounds like a character in a whimsical children’s tale, but Swedish scientists are trying to figure out if domestic cats actually do have differing ‘dialects’ based on their geographical location. They also want to understand if the owner’s voice might have a role to play in the way cats’ meow. If they’re successful, the team of scientists from Lund University hope to put together a ‘dictionary’ of cat sounds.

“It seems that cats can consciously vary their intonation or melody constantly, perhaps to convey a certain message, perhaps to alter or increase the urgency of a message, or emotions,” said Susanne Schötz, a reader in phonetics and head of the project. “We want to find out to what extent domestic cats are influenced by the language and dialect that humans use to speak to them, because it seems that cats use slightly different dialects in the sounds they produce.”

The project, titled ‘Meowsic’ (short for ‘Melody in Human-Cat Communication’), will be carried out over the next five years. Schötz explained that she and her team will use phonetic analysis to compare cat sounds from two parts of Sweden – Stockholm and Lund – with differing human dialects, and figure out if the cats from these regions also have different dialects. They will focus on intonation, voice, and speaking style in the human speech that is addressed to cats, and also cat sounds that are addressed to humans.

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The Epic Tale of a Refugee Cat from Iraq That Got Lost in Greece and Reunited with His Family in Norway

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In a miraculous turn of events, a refugee cat that got separated from his family while fleeing Iraq has not only survived the treacherous sea voyage to Lesbos, but has also been reunited with his owners, now living in Norway.

Kindness towards animals is not new to the people of Lesbos – we’d previously written about a café in the Greek island that opens its doors to stray dogs at night. So when volunteers found the poor, frightened cat all alone in November last year, they took him in, naming him Dias and deciding to care for him until his real owners could be found.

A few volunteers recalled that there had been a refugee family that was separated from their pet cat on reaching Lesbos a week earlier, so they began their hunt by putting up posters at reception centers all over the island. They also set up a Facebook page called ‘Reunite Dias’ to help spread the word. In the meantime, Dias was left in the care of volunteers Amy Shrodes and Ashley Anderson, who had been working with refugees on the island.

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Istanbul Mosque Opens Its Doors to Stray Cats on Cold Winter Days

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A mosque in Istanbul is creating social media buzz with its cat-friendly attitude. Stray cats looking for warmth and shelter on cold winter nights are always welcome at Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi Mosque in the city’s historical Üsküdar district.

Photographs of Mustafa Efe, the mosque’s imam (leader), playing with the feline visitors have gone viral online. According to news reports, he started allowing stray cats inside the place of worship last year, to help them escape the cold weather. The imam is apparently well-known for his good humor, diligence, and kindness towards animals.

Efe posted a few pictures and videos of the cats on his own Facebook page and one clip actually shows a mother cat carrying her babies in her mouth, one-by-one, into the mosque. “Our mosque’s Friday guests,” the imam wrote. “A surprise awaiting us at the sermon today. The kitty has found the heart of compassion and mercy.”

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Nature’s Photoshop – Venus the Two Face Cat

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Meet Venus, a five-year-old tabby who’s become an internet sensation for her strikingly unusual appearance – half of her face is orange while the other is black!

The divide, right down the center of her face, seems too perfect to be true, so much so that you’ll be tempted to dismiss it as fake. It doesn’t help that her eyes are different of different colors as well, one green and the other blue. But on her website, Venus insists that she is 100 percent natural.

“No makeup at all,” she says. “Not even eyeliner. In the salon where I get my pedicures done Photoshop and spray paint aren’t even allowed.” And she also dismisses the idea that she’s a Chimera – a mythical lion-goat-snake creature. “It’s appalling, but hey, I didn’t invent the English language.”

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