Tuesday, March 21, 2023


A noble ‘Prime Mouser’ cat, a doggie condo, and a wonderful three-legged school project

Cats hide in the weirdest places!

Thanks to all of you who commiserated with me about cats gone missing in the RV. Gorilla would approve (read my story about that from last week)! Here are some stories you shared:

V. Anderson wrote:

“I’ll just tell you that we bought a great big bus to travel with our four cats back and forth from Florida to Michigan a couple of years ago. I purchased four or five little cubby hole things for the cats to sleep in and hide in because I knew it was going to be traumatic when we started out with a great big diesel motor. I also gave everybody a dose of gabapentin. Nevertheless, two cats disappeared on that trip for hours and hours and hours.

“One of them ended up riding on top of the slide before I could find her. The other one went down in a space between two counters in the slide. The space was about 6 inches wide and 3 feet deep. There was no way I was getting him out.

Teddy Bear

“After a couple of hours of trying to figure out how to take apart the cabinetry to extricate him, we eventually returned to our driving. A few hours later, we looked around to see that he was sitting there looking at us. I don’t know how the heck he got out of there. He had to turn himself inside out and then jump out. When we got back to Michigan, we found pieces of 6-inch dense foam and shoved it into every crevice in the bus. Did I mention that one of the cats did the same thing your cat Gorilla did? Pictured is Teddy Bear the Manx who can jump 7 feet straight up in the air and evidently turn himself inside out to go down into crevices.”

K. Foster managed in a ’78 Datsun! He wrote:

“Many years ago my wife and I had a rescue cat named Powder Puff. She was black with several small white areas which made her look like she had knocked over a container of baby powder and walked through it. She had some kind of deformity so she couldn’t meow. It came out more like ‘raaaa.’ When friends or teachers will ask our kids ‘What sounds does a cat make?’ They would answer ‘Raaa!’

“Powder enjoyed traveling with us in the back of our ’78 Datsun B210 hatchback. One spring, we were traveling in the hot Southwest and arranged our luggage so we could drape a wet towel between them to keep Powder in the shade and cool. When she got too warm we would lay a wet cloth right on her, which she greatly appreciated! One day, along a particularly long stretch of deserted desert highway, Dad had to make a potty stop. We found a deserted gas station in the middle of nowhere I could go behind to be shielded from the road. Of course, we opened all the doors to keep the car from getting too hot. There was a little breeze which made it tolerable outside.

“When we returned to the car, there was no kitty in sight! Oh, no! The gas station had all kinds of junk piled around with lots of shady nooks and crannies. Perfect for a hot kitty to get out of the heat… We panicked and started calling her name and searching for her, to no avail! Finally, we took a breath and sat in the shade to think, ‘If I were a cat, what would I do?’ ‘I would search for a spot that was cool and familiar.’ Finally, much to our relief, she had climbed down under the back seat and was sleeping comfortably in the shade near the open door by the breeze! We traveled many more times with her and always found her somewhere in the car.”

And, lastly, R. Webb has cats that snap to attention at Reveille!

“We have two cats traveling with us in our motorhome and are currently staying at a campground on a military installation. After only a few days, the cats recognized that Reveille (at 6:00AM) and Taps (at 10:00PM) coincided with two of their automatic feeder dispensing times. They now sit at attention in front of their feeder whenever they hear bugle calls over the base PA.”

Now, for this week…

Larry the Cat—A better pawlitician than 12 years of British prime ministers!

Here’s Larry giving a speech (photo from his Twitter account).

When you are appointed Prime Minister in Britain, you are expected to live at 10 Downing Street in London. That iconic address is also home to Britain’s most famous mouser—Larry the cat. Britains have endured a great deal of turmoil in recent years—Brexit, promising but ultimately losing performances in the World Cup, short-lived prime ministers, Boris Johnson’s hair, and high costs of living. But the steady, calming and joyful presence of Larry the Cat at 10 Downing Street is a healing balm. Larry was recruited by David Cameron in 2011 to deal with a rat problem at the prime minister’s official residence. He has never left.

Any new prime minister must accept that he or she is second fiddle to Larry when it comes to popularity. I mean, who else would chase a fox to protect the crown and country? Larry.

Larry celebrates his 12th year as “prime mouser,” outlasting five prime ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, whose term began in October. After Liz Truss resigned, Larry tweeted that the King had asked him to take over because, “This has gone on long enough.” Yes, Larry has his own Twitter account.

He is not the only cat to lend support to heads of state. Roy Cooper, governor of North Carolina, gives his pets top billing on First Pets of North Carolina’s Facebook page. Gov. Cooper is a huge supporter of pet rescues and often will enlist his dog, Violet, and cat , Adelaide (Addy), to raise funds and support for these wonderful organizations.

But Larry is one of a kind. Give him a shout-out for making the past 12 years of British politics a lot more enjoyable. I will leave you with Larry’s heroic fox encounter on YouTube:

Have you ever visited Larry the cat in London? Please share your story with us if you have.

Poppy’s “condo”

I am a pretty dedicated people watcher and I am an avid animal watcher. Today, while in Costco, I met Poppy. This pup gets to ride around in her special backpack while her mom and dad shop. They love this because the backpack allows Poppy to pretty much go anywhere with them. While she likes to hike, long hikes become more comfortable when she can take a break in her condo! Pockets for her food, water, harness and potty supplies make traveling with her on foot a breeze.

Poppy’s parents particularly like this one because it has a hip strap that helps distribute the load and makes it more stable for Poppy. There are quite a few doggy backpacks out there. This one can be found here.

Lending support for Sadie

Students at Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota tackled a project that would give Sadie, an 8-year-old, three-legged dog, the support she would need as she entered her senior years. After being hit by a car several years ago, Sadie’s left front leg had to be amputated. Dogs do very well on three legs but it does put additional strain on the remaining joints. As dogs age, painful arthritis can creep in. This is particularly true if a dog is missing a front leg. I have a cat missing a rear leg and also a cat missing a front leg. It is clear that Tommy, missing his front, has to do more work getting around.

Sadie is 8 years old and missing her front left leg. Photo: Stillwater Area Public Schools

Fortunately, Sadie’s mom, Nancy Schoenecker, worked at Stillwater Area High where Matt Howe teaches engineering and design. Matt saw an opportunity to not only help Sadie but to provide a valuable learning opportunity for his students. Students formed teams to come up with a way to provide Sadie with a fourth “leg” by applying their math, computer, design and engineering knowledge.

“Project Saving Sadie” consisted of students in three elective classes. Sadie had to contribute by coming to school for measurements and doing “trial runs.” Several prototypes modeled prosthetic legs, and others built customized carts.

Sadie doesn’t have a stump but has a smooth shoulder, making it difficult to fit a prosthesis. Photo: Stillwater Area Public Schools

The initial testing stage for all the ideas is complete and classes will decide together which ideas have the most potential. Professionals will help them polish and refine their designs, and in the near future Sadie will be happily cruising around in her new “wheels.” Kudos to the students at Stillwater Area High School, Matt, and Nancy for helping Sadie.

Nancy Schoenecker and Sadie testing out a prototype cart in the school hallway. Photo: Stillwater Area Public Schools

Share your animal stories

Do you have a pet or animal story to share? Please send it to me using the form below. Include a photo, too, if you have one. Thank you!

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.



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Neal Davis
24 days ago

Nice. 🙂 Thank you, Karel!

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