The Saga of Shafa, the Ukrainian SurvivorUkraine has been fending off the Russian invasion for more than two years now. In the early days of the attack, Borodianka, a town near Kyiv, sustained major damage. One apartment building that was completely ruined stood unoccupied for two months before journalist Kate Parunoy spotted a cat on the seventh floor! The poor feline had been alone up there for weeks. ZooPatrol enlisted firefighters to reach the poor pussy. A vet determined the cat was a ten-year-old female, who was weak but uninjured. A family claimed to be the cat's owners, but since they left her behind and never reported the lost cat, she was not returned to them.​The cat, now named Shafa, became a media sensation, and was soon matched to a loving home. You can see more of her at Instagram. -via Evolution is True​
Julie Newmar is a Lifesaving MotherA stray dog came into the care of the Wilbarger Humane Society in Vernon, Texas. She was pregnant, and eventually gave birth to two puppies, one black and one white. The dog was very maternal toward the puppies, but then unfortunately died of unknown causes two days later. The shelter staff went into emergency mode, feeding the puppies by bottle around the clock. But that's not optimum for newborn puppies. Then Animal Control brought in a stray cat named Julie Newmar who had a week-old kitten named Eartha Kitt. (The names are two of the three actresses who played Catwoman on TV in the 1960s; the third was Lee Meriwether.) Julie Newmar is less than a year old, but she was a very attentive mother to her kitten. She didn't like the dogs at the shelter. The shelter staff took a chance and put the puppies in a cage with Julie, and she took the dogs in as if they were her own kittens!
The Cat Who Rules at 10 Downing StreetThe British government got a new Prime Minister last week when the Labour Party gained a majority in the Parliament. Keir Starmer took over the job from Rishi Sunak and moved into the official residence and office at 10 Downing Street. Prime Ministers come and go, but the staff at the residence remains the same. That includes Larry, the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office. Larry has held the office since 2011, and Starmer is his 6th master of the house.Larry is one of the longer-tenured cats to hold the office of Chief Mouser. He is also the first known to serve six Prime Ministers, while several have served five. Let's take a look at this traditional and honored occupation.
Henry Ward Beecher and His Hoosier Cat​Henry Ward Beecher was a 19th-century clergyman, abolitionist, and social reformer. He was pastor at the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn for decades. While advocating for human rights, Beecher was also a fan of cats, and held them to a different standard than he did humans. In fact, Beecher praised cats as being fine examples of their unique place in the world, which is very different from the place of people, and therefore beyond our judgement. Beecher wrote an essay on cats for his publication, the Christian Union, in 1870, explaining his views and his fondness for the species. It ends with the story of a young boy in Indiana who was worried about his cat. His family was moving to Arkansas and couldn't take the two-year-old queen with them. The boy had thought about sending the cat to Beecher, but his father said they couldn't afford the shipping cost. The story has a happy ending, and you'll be glad you read it, along with the essay, at The Hatching Cat. -via Strange CompanyUpdate: Here's another of Beecher's essays on cats, from 1869.(Image: Henry Ward Beecher with his sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe)
The Saga of Trash HenTikTok user thegoatmom002 has all kinds of stories about the family's goats, cats, and chickens. One day they found a poor, confused broody hen sitting in the trash can. She had spotted some discarded light bulbs and naturally sat on them so they could hatch. The farmer removed her from the bin more than once, but she kept returning. The trash wasn't taken out to be picked up because they didn't want to inadvertently lose a hen. So they decided to just let her be, and even played along with her fantasy.
"Show Us Your Cats!" -- The Walking Tour​Lowery East Side is a residential neighborhood in Minneapolis commonly known as the Wedge due to its wedge-like shape. In addition to its 9,300 human inhabitants, there are many cats. So it occurred to John Edwards, the publisher of The Wedge Times-Picayune, to conduct a walking tour of the local feline population.Only a dozen people attended the first cat tour seven years ago. But the Washington Post reports that on June 26 of this year, about 500 people attended the two mile walk with signs saying "Show Us Your Cats" and asking residents to display their cats for the audience's viewing pleasure.