Why are some programmers obsessed with cats?

Why programmers are obsessed with cats

Why are some programmers obsessed with cats? If it is true that some computer programmers are obsessed with cats the reason is probably the same for writers and authors: they are good companions in a lonely or solitary profession.

Also domestic cats like programmers and authors because they are generally static and at a desk for long periods. This allows their cat to be near by curled up. Cats like this. They like to be near their human companion and vice versa. Both authors and programmers can work from home: more cat time.

People have cats for companionship. A solitary programmer glued to a computer screen can also have a nice break from their work by interacting with their cat. He’s just there waiting for a little tickle and cuddle.

Many famous authors love cats. To me there is a similarity in the work of authors and programmers.

The well-known image of a cat on a keyboard is about warmth. Both the keyboard of a laptop computer and the side of the computer dissipate heat. Cats like heat. Of course you can’t program if your cat is draped over the keyboard but if he’s near by he’ll receive the benefit of the computer’s heat on a cold day. And then there’s the emotional warmth.

Programmers can be freelance and/or work crazy hours. What if a programmer has to work a very late or very early shift? Let’s say she’s programming at 3:30 am; that’s perfect for her cat as he is essentially crepuscular but these hours are anathema to her spouse.

Computer programmer likes cats

The domestic cat comes to the rescue of programmers working unsociable hours because domestic cats always have unsociable hours. They are out of step with the human lifestyle when it comes to being awake and asleep. The cat is perfect for the all night coders because they’ll be in lock step.

Both cats and dogs can improve productivity because they improve the ambience of the workplace. Workplace ambience is important to productivity; look at Google’s offices. More businesses allow cats and dogs to spend the day at their owner’s workplace.

I welcome the thoughts of others and in this instances those of computer programmers 🙂

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Tubby tabby weights 33 pounds

His name is Bronson and he weights 33 pounds or 2st 4lbs. He looks it too. His previous owner died and the new owners want to get him into shape.

He lives in Michigan US. He was adopted from the local Humane Society who insisted that the new owners Megan, 29, and Mike Wilson, 35, put Bronson on a weight loss program.

They adopted him 3 months ago and are seeking the optimum diet to weight loss. He is on a grain-free diet. I’d have thought the best diet would be to limit food intake (high quality wet) and combine it with lots of play. If you do that for 6 months he should look better.

It would seem that the fat is stubborn if they have had him for three months and he still looks like this.

Bronson is a modern day fat cat similar to the cats of the past who have featured in the Guinness World Records book. It looks awful but it is quite easy to get that way particularly if the owner is overweight herself although I don’t know if this the case. Some people might say it is cat abuse to let your cat get this fat.

I don’t know Bronson’s age but preventing obesity is the most important aspect of cat caretaking for prolonging the life of your cat. Older cats need up to 30% fewer calories than younger cats. The diet needs to be adjusted accordingly. The same applies to humans!

Gradual weight loss

Overweight cats should lose weight gradually. The advice is to lose no more than 1.5% of their initial body weight per week. Table scraps and treats must be avoided. I expect that the cat rescue have advised Megan and Mike on feline weight loss. It will need persistence and consistency while looking to the long term.

Clauz – World’s Fattest Cat 1950

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Fattest cat in the world 2022 and discussion

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Owner reunited with 24-year-old cat

A 24-year-old cat (112 in human years) went missing in Lincoln, UK; specifically Mill Hill Lane, Nettleham. He was found in a garden and taken to the veterinarian at Friars Lane Vets. He was dehydrated and he looked in a bad way because his nose had been bruised and battered for an unknown reason and in the past he had his ears amputated because of cancer.

Jason a 24 year old cat who went missing
Photo: Lincoln Cat Care Charity

His name is Jason and he is very friendly and laid back.

The quest began to find his owners. At this point we can thank the Lincoln Cat Care Charity’s webpage on Facebook. This cat charity do good work reuniting lost cats with distressed owners.

This comment explains things:

Nita Jane Howard: Hi just to let everyone know Jason is back home with his owner, he only lived just around the corner from where he was found.

His ears have been surgically removed due to cancer and his nose is battered but he has regular visits to the vet to check his health and for an old lad he’s doing as well as expected.

His mum and his adopted mum (next door neighbour) both adore him and thank everybody for their concern and for Lincoln Cat Care and Friars Lane Vets for caring for Jason during his adventures. xxx”

And the post below tells the story from the Lincoln Cat Care Charity’s perspective:

A lot of neighbours got in touch with the charity and in fairly swift fashion he was reunited with his owner. Lincoln Cat Care Charity were surprised at how old he is.

Twenty-four is an exceptional age for a domestic cat. Not many cats make this age. Anything above 20 is excellent and mid-20s is very rare. It is the first time I have encountered a story about a 24-year-old cat going missing. He did not get far.

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August: 5 cents per comment to cat charity and $50 Tuft + Paw voucher

Just a quick note to say that during August PoC will be donating 5 cents to a cat charity of choice for every comment made and the person making the most comments gets a $50 voucher from Tuft + Paw who make a very cool range of modern cat furniture products.

Tuft + Paw
Photo: Tuft + Paw

If you have a modern home their products will fit in beautifully. Link to Tuft + Paw.

The winner of the voucher gets to choose the recipient of the charitable donation.

Any questions? Please leave a comment. Thanks.

SOME PAGES ON CAT PRODUCTS:

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Animal Control officer dumped weak rescued kitten in woods

Kitten dumped by animal control in woods
Kitten dumped by Animal Control in woods

In outline the story is that a kitten was born in the neighbourhood (Sussex County, DE, USA) and abandoned by the mother. The kitten was ill, barely alive and missing an eye. A guy whose name is Kurt Herring wanted to help the kitten. He rang around, firstly trying unsuccessfully to contact Coastal Cat Rescue and then Brandywine Valley SPCA who passed his message to Animal Control.

Animal Control turned up and Officer Connor took the kitten away. We don’t know what Kurt thought might happen but he probably hoped the kitten would be taken to a rescue center where he’d be treated and eventually rehomed with a bit of luck. The kitten seems to have been tame.

Apparently Coastal Cat Rescue followed up on the kitten’s rescue with the intention of rehabilitating him/her at their facility. They discovered that Officer Connor had gone to woods near Georgetown and dumped the kitten. The intention must have been to let the kitten die. Understandably his behaviour has angered a lot of people including Kurt. Officer Connor did something which is quite probably illegal in some states: abandoning a cat. In fact animal abandonment is a crime in Delaware:

“Cruel neglect” includes neglect of an animal, which is under the care and control of the neglector, whereby pain or suffering is caused to the animal or abandonment of any domesticated animal by its owner or custodian….” [§ 1325 Cruelty to animals; class A misdemeanor; class F felony.]

It was a cruel thing to do and almost certainly a misdemeanour under the animal welfare laws of Delaware. His behavior can’t meet the standards of a decent Animal Control officer. He could have a least had the kitten euthanised.

Kurt is more than angry, he’s livid. He filed a grievance with Animal Services. Their response was predictable: the officer has the right to make a decision as to (in Kurt’s words) ‘the best situation for the kitten’.

I take that to mean the officer had the choice to decide the best fate for the kitten. How can dumping the kitten in woods to slowly die be the best outcome for the kitten? It might be the most convenient way to deal with the kitten from the officer’s point of view (if he is insensitive to animal welfare) but the treatment is inhumane.

Kurt said:

“if he thought this kitten would make it, he has NO business in his job”.

His boss said:

“In this case the kitten should have been taken to the shelter for care, or information provided to the individual who called for area shelters and rescues that might assist. The officer did not follow OAW protocol in dealing with free-roaming cats by releasing the kitten in a wooded area away from where it is found. The officer truly regrets his actions. We have re-educated the officer about the appropriate protocol and will be re-educating all of our officers as well.”

For me that’s not enough.

Kurt asked that his Facebook post of 27th July be shared which is what I am doing.

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Video described as the ‘rarest cats in the world playing’ is inaccurate

Scottish wildcat kittens playing

There is a cute video described by The Scottish Sun online newspaper as “Adorable video shows rarest cats in the world playing after being rescued by Scottish Wildcat Haven“.

These are described as Scottish wildcat kittens. They were found in the wild in Scotland and rescued by Wildcat Haven and are being raised with the minimum of human intervention to be released in due course.

The issue I have with the newspaper’s description is that most if not all Scottish wildcats are hybrids. Arguably there are no purebred Scottish wildcats left. None, because they have crossbred with domestic and feral cats in Scotland over many years.

It is thought that the Scottish wildcat could well be extinct in the wild (and perhaps totally) but no one wants to admit it. About ten years ago they said there were 400 left in the wild. Now they say the figure is much lower and others think that there may be none except for first generation wild cat hybrids.

The hybrid Scottish wildcat looks very similar to the genuine item only a bit slimmer. The genuine cat is a stocky, aggressive grey-brown tabby cat.

So when they say the video is of the rarest of cats it’s wrong because that description is meant to refer to the purebred Scottish wildcat which is incredibly rare if it exists in the wild.

If it does still exist it is probably no rarer than the Iberian lynx (southern Spain and Portugal) or the Amur tiger (Far East of Russia). The Amur tiger’s population was stable at around 400 for years but has declined recently we are told. The Iberian lynx was known as the world’s rarest wild cat species but the population has stabilised as a last gasp effort was staged to save it from years of sport hunting, loss of prey and habitat.

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Is my cat an atheist?

Cat praying. Is my cat an atheist?

Someone asked, ‘Is my cat an atheist?’. The answer must be No and Yes. Your cat has no concept of gods and religion, consequently the word ‘atheist’ is meaningless to him.

Therefore it can’t be applied to a cat which means he can’t be an atheist because an atheist is a person who understands what religion and gods are, but rejects them completely.

If your cat could understand the meaning of the word ‘atheist’ (which is impossible to contemplate) he’d be one because religion and gods are entirely a human concept and creation. Gods and religion have been created by people primarily for people. Animals are sometimes referred to in discussions about religion.

I realise that many people will disagree that God is an idea created by humans but I think that you’ll find it is correct. I am a Richard Dawkins fan (‘The God Delusion‘) but I respect the views of others.

There is nothing more to say without waffling but please share your thoughts in a comment.

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Do feral cats make good pets? Why or why not?

Intro: there is a difference between stray and feral cats. Strays are often abandoned domestic cats. Sometimes the phrase ‘stray cat’ can include feral cats, hence the confusion. Also there are community cats who are often semi-feral and even domesticated to a great extent. Then there are TNR colony cats. These too are often friendly.

But in this post I am referring to genuine feral cats who are essentially unsocialised and wild.

Socialising a feral cat. Cat hiding

It depends

This title is a perennial question. It is tricky to provide a clean answer because it depends on the cat and the person. The short answer is that feral cats can make good pets but, depending on the individual cat’s personality and age, they can be permanently skittish or have a subdued wild side to their character which emerges from time to time. You might never arrive at the perfect domestic cat.

If you read stories from people who have been kind enough to adopt a feral cat, you find mixed outcomes but great patience can reap success and rewards.

Socialisation

It’s about socialisation. If a person adopts a young feral kitten, weeks old, it is much easier to socialise him or her. She’ll become a domestic cat more of less. Stories of people adopting genuine, adult feral cats almost always recount sometimes years of patient socialisation with a great reward at the end when their now socialised cat jumps on their lap, purrs and reaches out their paw to touch their hand. Success! She silently thinks to herself.

Indeed there are some great stories of feral cats making fine pets. It takes effort and above all patience. You’ll have to be knowledgeable about cat behaviour and know a bit about health. You’ll have to be very understanding and gentle. It’s likely to be one way traffic – you giving time and effort to your feral friend – for a while which makes the end game, when the feral cat becomes domesticated (if it happens) particularly rewarding.

My story

I adopted a feral 7 week old feral tabby cat. It took me about a week to get him to sleep on my lap. It involved great food and tons of play. Play is the best ice-breaker and socialiser. He is now 4-years-of-age and fully domesticated except he has a wild streak which emerges sometimes. For that reason he is different to all the other domestic cats I have owned over the years.

The relationship is very close because in socialising a young feral cat you have to spend so much time with him.

Go slowly and don’t force

I can remember reading many stories of feral cats being helped and then becoming domesticated by a kind person. Sometimes the cat remains an outdoor cat. That’s okay. You let them decide. Sometimes they come inside and realise that life is better. These relationships start slowly with tentative steps of feeding and running away. Eventually the cat allows the person to approach and touch her. There are little leaps of progress like this in the long journey to domestication.

For most people trying to domesticate a feral cat is not recommended but the rewards are high for the right person.

Health

You also have to be careful about health. If you have existing cats it is essential to ensure that the feral cat is checked out for chronic infectious diseases. The last thing you want is to bring infectious feline diseases into the home to cause illness in your existing cats. I would not bring a feral cat inside to mix with existing cats until you are sure she/he is negative for the regular diseases such as FIV, FeLV, FIP, cat colds (herpesvirus or calicivirus), Panleukopenia.

Conclusion

In conclusion: Do feral cats make good pets? Why or why not? ANS: yes, sometimes but not commonly. Why? Because the person who socialised the cat is a damn good cat caretaker and the cat’s personality lends itself to domestication. Why not? Because the cat is too wild and unsocialised. They distrust humans. They are not trained to live with humans.

I welcome the input others save for trolls who can…..

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