Happy New Year! And for our meowing companions, Happy Mew Year! (Kitties celebrated their new year on the 2nd.) As we leave 2023 in the rear-view mirror and enter 2024, many media platforms are examining the past year, presenting different best-of lists and debating varios highlights and low points. Although your feline buddy might prefer snoozing on a magazine or newspaper instead of pondering best-of lists, it doesn’t mean she should be sidelined. In fact, Fluffy had a pretty good year! A local vet offers some insight in this article from Westside Animal Hospital, a Pooler, GA veterinary clinic.
A Purrfect Reason To Celebrate
This one is of note to all the newly-engaged couples out there who will be tying the knot in 2024. A cat insurance company created the website FelixPurrfectProposal.com as a ‘purrfect’ contest for people who were about to propose to their significant others. Participants visited the site to share how their feline pals were involved in their love stories and proposals. The lucky winner will receive $4,750 towards an engagement ring. Their kitty will of course also get a special prize. The winner hasn’t yet been announced, but we want to see the cat pictures!
Super Cute Shelter Kittens Fall In Love With Their New Home
Two purrticularly charming Indianapolis shelter kitties made headlines and warmed hearts in December. The kittens, Ruby and Opal, were clearly overjoyed to be settling into a new cage. They not only literally jumped for joy, they also kept zooming around their new cage, spilling all their food and water. When the rescue, Pepperspalrescue, shared the clip on TikTok, the adorable footage of their celebratory antics went viral, capturing hearts all over the internet. (We’re not sure, but it’s probably safe to say that Ruby and Opal are now happily wreaking havoc on their forever homes.)
Universal Kitty Distribution System
Another breakthrough of 2023? The discovery of the Universal Cat Distribution System. What is that, exactly? Well, it’s a theory about how the universe distributes kitties to the right people at the right time. The gist of it is that if you happen to find a stray cat at your job, or perhaps come home to a cute kitty meowing on your doorstep, well, the universe may have just assigned you a new pet.
The concept has become quite popular, with many cute videos documenting people discovering their newly-assigned pets. In fact, we suspect that quite a few of our feline patients found their furever homes via this mysterious system.
Research Offers Key Insight To Cats’ Emotions
We also learned more about Fluffy’s emotions in 2023. One study, published in Behavioural Processes, scrutinized 53 adult kitties, all of whom lived in a Los Angeles cat café. The study focused on the way cats display their emotions.
It turns out that Fluffy has almost 300 distinct facial expressions! While we may like to joke about Fluffy being cold, the truth is that our feline pals are very emotional.
Then again, we suspect that many of you already knew that. While cats can be purrplexing, and at times aloof, it’s impossible to mistake kitty cuddles for anything other than affection. (Our feline pals also show their love in some odd ways, such as biting and scratching, but that’s another topic.)
Purring, Lovable Serial Killers
Speaking of jokes, we do occasionally poke fun at Fluffy for being a furry little serial killer. Turns out, that isn’t very far from the truth. A paper published last year in Nature Communications compiled information from scientists that had reviewed over 100 years’ worth of data.
The research revealed that cats will eat over 2,084 types of animals and insects. Even more disturbing: they prey on over 347 different threatened species, including green sea turtles, Newell’s shearwater, the northern bobwhite quail and the little brown bat. Fluffy has also been linked to over 60 extinctions.
This is one reason we recommend keeping cats inside. Not only will your kitty be safer as an indoor pet, you’ll also be helping protect native wildlife! Ask your vet for more information on keeping your little buddy happy, healthy, and purring inside.
That’s Just Cattitude
Ruby and Opal weren’t the only cats to have their moment of fame in 2023. Another kitty, Booboo, got his fifteen minutes of fame last year as well. His owner couldn’t understand why her pet’s water bowl was always empty, no matter how often she filled it. She decided to set up a hidden camera.
Booboo was caught red-pawed in the act of tipping the bowl over and spilling water into the rug. On purrpose. Of course.
A Living Tribute To Our Feline Friends
One of our favorite pictures from 2023 shows an adorable kitty snoozing in a rice field in Thailand. We know, this may not sound particularly noteworthy. However, this special feline is not a real living, breathing cat, but in fact, a work of art. The cat is actually a design that was planted into the rice paddy. The ingenious creator behind this scene, a farmer named Tanyapong, created it after being inspired by an old proverb about prosperity. Using GPS, he carefully arranged various colored seeds to form an intricate design that could be seen from the sky. Sounds pretty meow-velous to us!
The Year That Fluffy Stole Christmas
One extra frisky furball definitely made Santa Claws’ naughty list last year. The furball was caught on camera stealing his owners’ holiday decorations while they were sleeping. In Kentucky, the cat stole a Christmas stocking from his owner. TikTok user angelwingswalter filmed the kitty making off with his stash. Bah, humbug!
A True Christmas Miracle
Fluffy and Fido shared one particularly heartwarming event in 2023. One animal shelter in Pennsylvania happily announced that all of the pets in their care had been adopted. Their cages were empty for the first time in 47 years! The shelter called it a ‘True Christmas Miracle.’ That’s pretty pawesome news. Hopefully we’ll be able to share some similar moments from the coming year. We’re also thrilled that many formerly homeless pets are starting the new year off in loving homes.
Meanwhile, In Scotland … Fluffy Goes Back To The Wild
We’re thrilled to share news about the success of the program Saving Wildcats. The program is seeking to reintroduce Scottish Wildcats into their natural habitat, the Cairngorms. The organization announced last year that 19 kitties were successfully released. The cats are currently being monitored through GPS collars. Additionally, several more kittens will also be set free in the area.
This initiative is a promising step towards reviving a species that nearly went extinct. While Scotland’s mice and birds may not be thrilled about the news, we wholeheartedly support the attempts, and hope the program is a resounding success. (Note: if there were ever a cat we could accurately describe as a majestic floof, it’s the Scottish Wildcat.)
Happy New Year from all of us at Westside Animal Hospital, your Pooler, GA animal hospital.Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care. We look forward to providing you with the best service in 2024 and for many years to come.