Wordless Wednesday

Kitties would like to go today, but mummy has to work, so they hang out inside by the fan. Looks like they are staying cool, and enjoying a nice easy day, unlike their mummy.
What are your kitties doing this very hot summer day? Please share.

Little Yellow, also known as Paws, finds all kinds of things to be amused with inside.

Little Yellow, also known as Paws, finds all kinds of things to be amused with inside.

Kitty Little Yellow is thinking what can I do next?

Kitty Little Yellow is thinking what can I do next?

Kitties Little Yellow and Lenny say it's too hot to wrestle this morning.

Kitties Little Yellow and Lenny say it’s too hot to wrestle this morning.

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop (more…)


Category: Cats, Lenny

Maine Coon Cat

Mainers love their cats, so much so that it was named the best place to live for cat lovers.by the online real estate resource Estately.  Although Vermont, named the second-best cat state, ranked higher, the fact that Maine has an official state cat helped boost its rankings.

More than 46 percent of Maine households have cats, and cat owners outnumber dog owners by 11 percent.

The Maine Coon, one of the most popular cat by the Cat Fancier’s Association became Maine’s official cat in 1985. The Maine Coon is believed to be one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, and a native to the state of Maine.

In the early days of cat shows, the Maine Coon ranked on top of the Cat Fancier’s boards, But at the beginning of the 20th century, show fever expanded to the Midwest and the West, the Cat Fanciers’ Association was founded in 1908, favor shifted from the Maine Coon to long-haired pedigreed cats, including the Persian and Angora.

The Maine Coon Cat, a large, broad chested cat with a long rectangular body with long flowing fur, was historically known as a working class cat. It can take on many coloration patterns. The males average around 12 to 15 pounds, with some going 20 pounds or more. The females are smaller, averaging 9 to 12 pounds.

The Maine Coon would remain in the background with cat fanciers for the next four decades, so much so that in the 1950′s, the Maine Coon was declared extinct. That was far from being the case. Maine Coon aficionados went to bat to bring the cat back to its original glory. It was not a fight that was easily won, taking over 20 years, to have the cat back onto the official Cat Fancier’ registries.

Beautiful silver Maine Coon Cat

Beautiful silver Maine Coon Cat

The Maine Coon, America’s first indigenous show cat, was once again on top of its game.

What happened to make this cat, bigger than life, fall out of fancy with the Cat Fancier’s.

  • In January 1878, a dozen of these down-east, working class heroes were listed in the program of a show held in Boston, MA.
  •  In the 1870′s cat shows were held in all the populace eastern cities, even as far west as Chicago, although not on a yearly basis. according to the Cat Fancier’s Association, http://www.cfa.org/Breeds/BreedsKthruR/MaineCoon/MCArticle.aspx,
  • In May of 1985, The most famous and largest of the early shows was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden. A brown tabby female Maine Coon Cat named Cosey owned by Mrs. E. N. Barker, was the winner of the National Cat Show. How many Maine Coons that were entered in the show cannot easily be determined because they were classified with Persians and Angoras as “longhaired.” All cats were categorized first by hair length and then by sex.
  • In 1897, 1898 and 1899, one of Mrs. E.R. Pierce’s brown tabby Maine Coon Cats, King Max, dominated this classic for three years, until defeated by his son Donald in 1900.
  • In 1911, the Maine Coon had its last big recorded victory for over 40 years when a “long-haired blue Maine Cat” took first place in his class and best of show, out of an entry of 170 cats, at the Portland, Oregon show.

The road back to fancy.

  • In the early 1950s, Alta Smith and Ruby Dyer formed the Central Maine Cat Club (CMCC) to end the Maine Coon’s slide into a regional oddity and to give impetus toward record keeping and showcasing for the breed. For the next 11 years the CMCC sponsored a combined cat show and exhibition of the photographs of cats. The club provided a means to call attention to all cats and the Maine Coon Cat in particular, and in doing so kept the image of the Maine Coon alive.
  • By 1963, the CMCC shows outgrew the barn, the elementary school gym, the high school gym and every other workable large local meeting place. The organization became too large to continue its amateur status and the Central Maine Cat Club ceased to be.
  • In 1968, the idea to create a universal Maine Coon Cat club whose purpose was to preserve and protect the breed came from Nancy Silsbee. The will and guidance to see the project through was supplied by Dr. and Mrs. Rod Ljostad. These early “movers and shakers” were completely dedicated to the concept of the Maine Coon Cat.
  • During the first part of the 1970s the Maine Coon breeders requested and were denied provisional status.
  • In 1969-70 the first attempt was made to bring the Maine Coon to provisional status. At the March 3, 1970 meeting, the board felt that they would be acting prematurely to accept the Maine Coon for provisional status. They wanted to determine if there were sufficient numbers being registered. Only 20 Maine Coons were registered at that time.
  •  In February, 1971, the board again denied provisional status.
  •  In 1973, the Maine Coon Cat Club was formed in 1973
  •  At the Spring 1974 meeting, Jean Rose announced that CFA now had a Maine Coon Cat breed club. The members stated that they had now fulfilled all the requirements for recognition of the Maine Coon Cat as a provisional breed: they had a standard, a breed club and 133 cats registered. Unfortunately, the timing for acceptance was off as per the existing rules; in addition, some board members thought the breed standard still needed clarification.
  • As of May 1, 1975, the Maine Coon Cat was accepted for provisional status following a vote at the October 1974 board meeting.
  •  On May 1, 1976. America’s native American longhair was back on the show bench with championship status.
  •  In 1977, the Maine Coon proved they could compete, with Best of Breed going to CH Lybe Christa’s Katy, owned by Elizabeth H. Brouch.
  •  In 1977-78, GC Purebred’s Silent Stranger, a copper-eyed white male, owned by William and Ruth Patt, became CFA’s first Maine Coon grand champion and Best of Breed.
  •  1978-1981, saw a few more Maine Coons achieving their grand championship status. Three Tufpaws female grand champions were the national breed winners in 1978-79, 1979-80, and 1980-81. They were GC Tufpaws Reuelette, GC Tufpaws Schnitzel of Zookatz, and GC Tufpaws Rosana Dana of Zookatz.
  • The 1981-82 show season produced the first national winning Maine Coon, GC NW Tufpaws Rosette.

The Maine Coon has finally clawed its way back to the top.

Because the Maine Coon Cat has such an interesting history, Paws will be dedicating the next two posts to the Maine Coon, one about the folklore about where it came from, and the other talking about the Maine Coon Cat as Maine’s official state cat.

Why do you think the Maine Coon Cat fell onto the back burner when it comes to the Cat Fancier’s? Why do you think some die-heart Maine Coon supporters went to bat to bring the cat back to the stature it once had?


Wordless Wednesday: What beautiful blue eyes? He’s got Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman beat, that’s for sure.


Beautiful Siamese Linus was adopted from a shelter

Beautiful Siamese

What’s your favorite cat breed? Please share.

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop


Category: Cats
Siamese Linus enjoys supervised time in the backyard.

Summer Fun. Siamese Linus can safely vacation with his human.

The number of pets going on vacation with their humans is mushrooming, and here Paws for Reflection offers some travel safety trips when travelling with your pet in the car.

Paws finds AAA and the ASPCA as a few of the places where you can find tips on how to safely travel with your pet.

  • Plan to have your pet with you at all times.

The number one thing to do is never, never leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows cracked. Even on a seemingly pleasant summer day, temperatures inside a vehicle can soar to over 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, leading to heat stroke and death. In very cold weather, the animal is at risk for hypothermia.

If you must quickly run an errand, restrain the animal in a kennel, park in the shade, and leave the windows completely open. It would be better, to have one person stay with the pet outside the vehicle, while the other runs into a store to grab a quick stop.

Having your pet micro-chipped should be a must well before embarking upon the trip. That way if Fido or Fluffy get lose, a quick chip scan can help you reunited with your pet.

If you are hiking or camping, consider a small separate tent with bedding, unless they’ll be bunking with you.

Don’t forget the leash, and for cats, a harness complete with leash. They’ll need plenty of water, treats and toys. It’s also a good idea to bring vaccination records, a first-aid kit and grooming supplies, as well as flea and tick repellent.

Additional travel tips from AAA include:

  1. Feed your pet a light meal about four hours before departure to prevent your pet from getting sick in the car.
  2. Do not give your pet food or water in a moving vehicle
  3. Never allow your pet to stay in the bed of a pick-up truck even if on a leash or harness as the pet could jump out and become injured.
  4. Avoid putting the pet in a camper or trailer because you can’t monitor what’s going on with the pet
  5. Don’t let your dog stick his head out the vehicle’s window, no matter how much he enjoys it because he’s at risk of road debris and accidents.
  6. Stop every two hours to stretch, give them water and bathroom breaks. Travel with lots of extra plastic bags as you will be expected to do bathroom clean-up duty.
  7. Have the pet restrained on a leash or harness before opening the vehicle’s door. AAA warns that even the most obedient pet can become disoriented, and spook easily, while traveling. They can run off, leaving them at risk for getting lost, or worse, injured.
  8.  If a pet is not accustomed to traveling, or if it’s a cat, consider using a harness, not a collar.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) offers some additional tips for car trips with pets. They include:

  1. Keep your pets safe and secure in a well-ventilated crate or carrier, – wire mesh, hard plastic and soft-sided – large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. And have your pet used to the carrier in the comfort of your home before your trip.
  2. Get your pet geared up for a long trip by taking him on a series of short drives, and gradually increase the amount of time spent in the car.
  3. Always secure the crate so it won’t slide or shift in the event of a quick stop. Each year thousands of animals are injured, die or become needlessly lost in car accidents.)In addition to travel papers, food, bowl, leash, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first-aid kit, bring toys or a favorite pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.
  4. Make sure your pet has a microchip for identification and wears a collar with a tag imprinted with your home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone, destination phone number and any other relevant contact information. Canines should wear flat – never choke – collars.)If you are traveling across state lines? Bring along your pet’s rabies vaccination record, as some states requires this proof at certain interstate crossings.
  5. When it comes to water, bring bottled water or tap water stored in plastic jugs. Drinking water from an open area could result in the pet getting sick.
  6. If you travel frequently with your pet, you may want to invest in rubberized floor liners and waterproof seat covers, available at auto product retailers.

Have you ever gone on vacation with your pet. Turns out it’s increasingly common that people are taking kitty along for vacation, rather than leaving her behind.  Please share some of your travel stories.


Category: Cat Safety, Cats

Wordless Wednesday: Patriotic Cat pledges his allegiance to the flag


The cat Lenny pledges his allegiance to the flag

The cat Lenny pledges his allegiance to the flag

Patriot kitty checks out the flag just in time for July 4

Patriot kitty checks out the flag just in time for July 4

The Flag and The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States, symbolic of patriotism, stand tall as we celebrate the founding of the United States on the Fourth of July. Like so many issues, the Plege of Allegiance has met it’s share of controversy, much because it now contains the words ‘under God’.
Paws had no intention of writing about the flag on the Fourth. However, when we captured this photo of Lenny, standing tall, looking up to the flag, it made us wonder, ‘Where did the Pledge of Allegiance come from?”

  • In 1892, The Pledge of Allegiance was originally composed by Francis Bellamy.
  • In 1942, the U.S. Congress formally adopted the pledge,
  • In 1945, the official name of The Pledge of Allegiance was adopted.
  • In 1954, on Flag Day, the last change in language came when the words “under God” were added.

Congressional sessions as well as many local governmental and private organizational meetings open with the recital of the Pledge. It is also commonly recited in school at the beginning of every school day, although the Supreme Court has ruled on several occasions that students cannot be compelled to recite the Pledge, nor can they be punished for not doing so. This is probably because of the 1954 insertion of ‘under God’.

According to the United States Flag Code, the Pledge of Allegiance reads:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

According to the Flag Code, the Pledge “should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform, men should remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.”

There’s nothing in the code that talks about cats. So Paws presumes Lenny is in fine order, standing tall at full attention.

A few other facts about The Pledge of Allegiance’s history:.

  • The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and a Christian socialist.
  • He was the cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy, author of Utopia.
  • The original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the Sept. 8 issue of the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovering America..
  • Bellamy’s original Pledge read ‘I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

How do you think your cats would do saying the Pledge of Allegiance? What do you think their pledge would be? Do you think it might have something to do with food and barbecue? They probably would like freedom of choice, as cats like to be independent. Weight in on this fun discussion and share your thoughts. 




Catpersonable BJ Bangs

A seasoned veteran journalist and photographer, BJ blogs about everything cat, their humans & life beyond, giving reason to Paws for Reflection.

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