L.A. Unleashed

All things animal in Southern
California and beyond

Category: Cats

Video goodness: Patient cats allow tangerines to be stacked on their paws

In only a few days, the video above has been viewed more than 25,000 times. How can we account for that? In short, we can't -- but we can offer the observation that the stacking of objects on cats seems to be hypnotic to a certain breed of Web-surfing pet lover.

After all, that very concept spawned not only the popular website StuffOnMyCat.com, but also a book, a calendar and even a companion site devoted to things stacked on dogs.

Let's face it, folks: People love stacking things on their pets. And if there's one thing people love more than stacking things on their pets, it's fruit: delicious, nutritious fruit. (Hat tip to the Daily What, whose Afternoon Snack post Monday alerted us to these patient -- or catatonic -- kitties.)

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: shironekoshiro via YouTube

Reader photo: Relaxed cats nap in a pile

Cat Pile

"Two is company, three is bliss," submitter bsk777 titles this wonderful photo of the happiest cats around. This shot combines some of our favorite things: Friendship between animals and pictures of pets relaxing. It's a little slice of heaven, isn't it?

If you have your own adorable sleepy-animal photos to share, we'd love to see them! Click on the photo gallery below to submit them to The Times' photo-sharing site, post them on our Facebook page or send them to us via tweet @LATunleashed.

Share Your Photos

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: bsk777 / Your Scene

Video goodness: Tongue-waggling kitten tries to nurse out of thin air, looks darn silly

No, this kitten is not the world's biggest fan of Gene Simmons. He just has an unusual but oddly charming behavioral tic in which he feels compelled to wiggle his tongue as if nursing, despite the fact he is quite obviously not nursing at all.

The kitten, named Jack, "likes to suckle on fleecy things as he thinks it's his mommy," his owner explains on YouTube, noting that Jack was found alone when he was only a few weeks old and thus was never properly weaned from his mother. "Sometimes he forgets that he doesn't have anything in his mouth [but] continues to suckle."

Jack's tongue-waggling routine has garnered close to 2 million views on YouTube and he now even has his own Facebook fan page. To put worried cat lovers at ease, Jack's owner notes on Facebook that "he has been seen by a vet and ... he has no medical issues, the suckling is a behavioral thing that is not a danger to his health, much like a child sucking their thumb."

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: trentiraffe via YouTube

Kafka's salesman-turned-cockroach reimagined as a cute kitten in 'The Meowmorphosis'

I can has Kafka

It's been well established that cats own the Internet. Now, apparently, they have set their sights on classic literature, according to our colleagues at The Times' books blog, Jacket Copy.

You've heard of literary mash-ups like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," "Android Karenina" and "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters," perhaps? Or "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter"? Well, get ready for the next in a quickly lengthening line of silly takes on serious literature and history: "The Meowmorphosis."

A play on Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis," the cat-themed mash-up book is due in May from publisher Quirk Books. In it, Kafka's famous character Gregor Samsa wakes up one day to find himself transformed not into a cockroach, as he does in "The Metamorphosis," but into an adorable, fluffy kitten instead.

"His family must admit that yes, their son is now OMG so cute -- but what good is cute when there are bills to pay?" reads a blurb about "Meowmorphosis" in the publisher's catalog. "How can Gregor be so selfish as to devote his attention to a ball of yarn? And how dare he jump out the bedroom window to wander through Kafka's literary landscape?" These are all good questions.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: ICanHasCheezburger.com

Video goodness: NIMBY cat opposes the construction of bottle-cap tower

This cat is apparently something of a NIMBY, and he will do whatever it takes to prevent his owner from constructing a tower made entirely of bottle caps in his home.

"Just think what a bottle-cap tower would do to my property values," we imagine him thinking to himself, resolving to take any action necessary to nip this unpleasant tower business in the bud.

Fortunately for him, the tower -- we must reiterate here -- is made entirely of bottle caps, so it's pretty easy to knock over. It takes only a bit of determination and hand-paw coordination to send the whole thing tumbling down, which he seems willing to do over and over.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: minao via YouTube

Cats playing with virtual mice? There's an app for that

An iPad app aimed at cats -- or, perhaps more accurately, aimed at lazy cat owners with iPads they don't mind sharing with their pets -- was recently released as a free download.

The app's creators bill it as "All the fun of your cat chasing a laser pointer without any of the work!" Now if they can just create cat-feeding and litter-box-cleaning apps, they'll be all set!

And Apple product fans, don't worry -- according to the owner of Iggy, the cat who became a YouTube star when a video of him playing with iPad apps went viral earlier this year, the tablet device's screen is tough enough to withstand even the most enthusiastic cat's claws.

You can download the app at iPadGameForCats.com. If your cat has a blast playing with the thing, let us know (or better yet, make a video and send it to us!).

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Viral cat videos and more vie for Urlesque's Urly award for Animal of the Year [Updated]

Who will be the Internet's MVA ("Most Valuable Animal," of course) for 2010? Pop-culture website Urlesque is letting its readers decide which lucky cat, dog or octopus will be named Animal of the Year from a field of five contestants in its annual Urly Awards.

Voters must decide between Standing Cat, above, a French cat with alarmingly good balance (he can also sit upright) whose real name is Rocky; a Bichon frise-poodle mix named Riley whose birthday party photo became a popular Internet meme; OMG Cat, whose expression of pure shock was caught on video and has since been viewed untold thousands of times on YouTube; Paul, the "psychic octopus" who correctly predicted the outcomes of 8 World Cup games in a row; and a cat named Iggy who went to town playing with apps on his owner's iPad shortly after the device was released earlier this year. (As Urlesque puts it, the so-called "iPad Cat" video is "worth watching because it's like the cat is playing with yarn. Then it does a keyboard cat impression. Memes!")

Urlies will also be awarded for Meme of the Year; Video of the Year; Biggest Facebook Trend of the Year; Celebrity Photoshop Meme of the Year (please, please let it be Prancing Michael Cera); Breakout of the Year; Coolest Web Kid of the Year; Justin Bieber Internet Thing of the Year; Best New Single Topic Blog of the Year (we were pulling for either Faces of the Last Season of Oprah or Selleck Waterfall Sandwich, but both currently trail Hungover Owls); and Hero of the Year.

At present, Paul the Octopus leads in the Animal of the Year category, and he's something of a sentimental favorite since he passed away a few months ago. Voting closes Wednesday at midnight Eastern time, so you've still got a few hours to cast your vote.

[Update 12/17: Urlesque has announced that the winner of its Animal of the Year Urly award is Paul the Octopus. A fitting tribute for our fallen mollusk friend, we think!]

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: DaisYannou via YouTube

Cat bound in duct tape and placed in clothes dryer in Riverside is reunited with her kittens

Dryer cat kittens

A mother cat that was discovered in the communal clothes dryer of a Riverside apartment building last week, bound in duct tape and bearing injuries that suggested her abuser had turned the dryer on with her inside it, has been reunited with her six kittens.

A resident of the apartment building, in the 3000 block of Watkins Drive near UC Riverside, called police after finding the cat in the dryer. Riverside County animal services officers responded to the scene and brought the cat, whom they named Snuggles, to the Western Riverside City/County animal shelter. There, the duct tape was removed and Snuggles was found to be in relatively good shape, emerging from her ordeal with only a broken tooth and bleeding in one eye that was expected to heal.

It was quickly determined that Snuggles was a nursing mother, and an effort was made to locate her kittens. One was found Friday at the apartment complex, and animal services staff expressed concern that the other kittens could die if they weren't located quickly. Fortunately, another resident of the building found five additional kittens in a garage Monday night and brought them to the shelter the following morning. All are currently in a volunteer foster home.

Three previous instances of animal cruelty toward cats have been reported at the same apartment complex, according to KTLA. Residents told KTLA that fur and blood were found in the dryer.

Continue reading »

Majority of pet owners say they plan to give their pet a holiday gift

Xmasdog1 Dogs have more to look for under the tree this Christmas than cats do.

Fifty-six percent of dog owners say they'll buy their pets a gift this Christmas, but only 48% of cat owners plan a gift.

A majority of all pet owners -- 53% -- said in an Associated Press-Petside.com poll that they plan to get their animals a present this holiday season.

Debbye Meszaros' two dogs, Sasha and Sophie, will be getting rawhide bones while the family hamster, Star, gets a bigger wheel, and Princess, the guinea pig, gets new bedding.

"There will also be something under the tree from the animals to the kids, too," said Meszaros, 40, of Olney, Md. Last year, when her husband was stationed in Italy for the Navy, the family managed to find edible rawhide greeting cards to give other dogs in the neighborhood.

The AP-Petside.com poll, conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, also showed that women (56%) are somewhat more likely than men (49%) to buy their animals a gift.

Continue reading »

Your morning adorable: Cat takes a nap while holding a teddy bear

We could happily watch YouTube user kittycatbliss' video of Meesha, a cat with a penchant for napping and a tendency to hold a tiny stuffed animal while he does, on a loop all day long.

Meesha "loves stuffed animals! He will carry them around or attack them around the house," kittycatbliss explains. "In this video he's hugging his little teddy bear. He's got his little blanket and his pillow and he's about to go to sleep."

It's enough to make your heart hurt a little bit, isn't it?

Meesha is a rescue cat who was abandoned as a kitten and found swimming in a lake, according to the bio on his website. (Yes, he has a website -- what self-respecting cat doesn't nowadays?) He was rescued from the lake by a kind woman who brought him to an animal shelter; before long, kittycatbliss came in to adopt a kitten. The rest is history!

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: kittycatbliss via YouTube

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