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October

Happy Cat Month - Happy Cat Month was set up by the Catalyst Council, supported by vets, animal welfare groups and charities and pet food manufacturers.

National Feral Cat Day - 16th October

National Cat Day (USA) – 29th October (www.nationalcatday.com) - Set up by cat lover Colleen Paige "to celebrate cats and help them find forever homes."


October is the 10th month of the year according to the Gregorian calendar. The name comes from the Latin word for eight. October was the 8th month in the early Roman calendar. It later became the 10th month when the ancient Romans moved the beginning of the year from March 1 to January 1. October has had 31 days since the time of the Roman emperor Augustus.

In the North Temperate Zone, the first frost usually occurs in October. Farmers must finish harvesting most crops, but the cold weather does not come to stay. Days of warm, hazy sunshine still appear. They inspired poets to sing the praises of October and Indian summer. Leaves change to brilliant crimson, russet, and gold. Wild asters, goldenrod, and fringed gentians bloom at this time. The frost kills many insects, and most birds have left for the South, but sparrows are fond of October. They are seedeaters, and the fields and meadows are rich with seeds. Sparrows eat millions of weed seeds that might otherwise damage the next crop.

October symbols - The Calendula is the special flower for October. The birthstones for this month are the opal and the tourmaline.

October turned my maple's leaves to gold;
The most are gone now; here and there one lingers;
Soon these will slip from out the twig's weak hold,
Like coins between a dying miser's fingers.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich

October gave a party,
the leaves by hundreds came.
The ashes, oaks, and maples,
and those of every name.

George Cooper

There is something in October sets the gipsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.

Bliss Carman

I was recently asked a question: "Why do leaves turn colour in autumn (fall)?"

I knew the first bit of the answer below:

The green colour of leaves in the summer is from the chlorophyll that helps the tree or plant turn sunlight into food. In the autumn (fall) trees and plants stop making chlorophyll, then the other pigments in the leaf show through. The leaf may then show the yellow colour of the pigment xanthophyll or the orange-red tones of carotene (this is the same pigment that makes carrots orange). There are also a group of red and purple pigments called anthocyanins. The colour of the autumn leaf depends on which of the pigments is most plentiful in the leaf.




Cunning Kitten

A very hungry fox was prowling one moonlit night about a farmhouse, and he met a little kitten.

"You're not much of a meal for a starving creature," he said. "But in these hard times something is always better than nothing."

"Oh don't eat me!" said the kitten. "I know where the farmer keeps his cheeses, come with me and see."

She led him into the farmyard, where there was a deep well with two buckets.

"Now, look in here, and you will see these cheeses," she said.

The fox peered down the well, and saw the moon reflected in the water.

"This is the way down," said the kitten, jumping into the top bucket. Round and round rattled the rope-wheel, and down went the kitten into the water. Happily, she had gone down before, and she knew what to do, and climbing out of the bucket, she clung onto the rope.

"Can't you bring up one of these cheeses?" said the fox.

"No; they are too heavy," said the kitten. "You must come down."

Now, the two buckets were connected, so that when one went down the other came up. As the fox was much heavier than his little companion his bucket went down and the water drowned him. While the kitten came up laughing and escaped.

Aesop's Fables




Quote of the month:

"I find it extremely difficult to predict what you think is acceptable!" - Commander Data talking to "Spot" his cat. (I know the feeling!)




Superstitious Cats

"No cat which has been bought will ever be any good at catching mice." - Old English saying.

Indonesians and Malays believe that if you wash your cat it will bring rain.




The Cat Of The House

Over the hearth with my 'minishing eyes I muse;
until after
the last coal dies.
Every tunnel of the mouse,
every channel of the cricket,
I have smelt,
I have felt
the secret shifting of the mouldered rafter,
and heard
every bird in the thicket.
I see
you
Nightingale up in the tree!
I, born of a race of strange things,
of deserts, great temples, great kings,
in the hot sands where the nightingale never sings!

Ford Madox Ford (1873-1939)




The Nature Of The Beast

Cats are of divers(e) colours; but for the most part gryseld like to congealed yse, which commeth from the condition of her meate; her head is like unto the head of a Lyon, except in her sharpe eares: her flesh is soft and smooth: her eies glister above measure especially when a man commeth to see a cat on the sudden, and in the night they can hardly be endured for their flaming aspect.

It is a neat and cleanely creature, oftentimes licking her own body to keepe it smooth and faire, having naturally a flexible backe for this purpose, and washing hir face with hir fore feet, but some observe that if she put her feete beyond the crowne of her head, that it is a presage of raine, and if the backe of a cat be thinne, the beast is of no courage or value.

The Historie Of Foure-footed Beastes - Edward Topsell (Naturalist- 1606)




An oldie but goldie!

A cat with a coat containing three colours is said to protect against fever and fire!




Did you know?

Slim Odds! The chances of finding a male tortoiseshell cat are two hundred to one. They are highly prized by Japanese fishermen as they are said to protect sailors at sea and keep away mischievous ghosts.

Unless you're a trained vocalist, don't sing to your cat. Supposedly, cats have perfect pitch and know when you're crooning off-key.

Your cat's face may be inscrutable, but its tail and whiskers give it away. An upright tail is a sign of friendliness, and a flicking tail is a sign of agitation. Whiskers that face forward indicates a cat is getting ready to pounce. If they face sideways, it means the cat is feeling calm. Whiskers flattened on the side of the face are another story: They tell you your big, brave cat is afraid!




The Egyptian word for cat is 'Mau', a word which also means 'to see', and the cat was linked with the concept of the eye of Horus and the eye of Ra, twin symbols of the sun and moon which appear in the talismanic uchat symbol which is often carved on Egyptian figures. Was 'mau' originally an onomatopoeic rendering of the cat's voice, or is 'miaou' a buried memory of the Egyptian word? One version of Bast's name was "Pasht" and some people claim that to be the origin of our word 'puss'. (Onomatopoeic: of, pertaining to, or characterized by onomatopoeia; imitative in sound.)

The English word cat may originate in the Nubian word 'kadis', for in the early centuries AD a similar word travelled through the Baltic, Slavic, Mediterranean and Atlantic countries, along the trade routes over which the increasingly popular cat was carried. The cat is called similar names in these countries, most of which have only minor diffferences in spelling or pronounciation.

  • Holland & Denmark - Kat
  • Sweden - Katt
  • Finland - Kissa
  • Germany - Katze
  • Poland - Kot
  • Russia - Kots
  • Greece - Gatta
  • Italy - Gato
  • France - Chat

Variations and other languages include the words: catt, cath, catus, cattus, cait, katte, katti, kottr, kazza, kattos, kate and kotu.

Classical Greek: Ailouros

Hence the words:

     Ailurophile: A person who loves cats.
     Ailurophobe: A person with an intense dislike or fear of cats.




Cat Haiku

I wash your face in
the morning, so you are clean
to pamper me now!

(c) Copyright Moggies




The Toilet Mystery

Author: Denise Brixey

Everyone knows how curious cats are. It's a natural state of mind for them. They are curious about what you are doing, about what's on the kitchen table, oh, and let's not forget the counters (kitchen and bathroom). One of mine is even curious about the shower. Tiffany will stare at the water coming from the shower head and then look at me like I'm nuts when I step inside and close the shower door. The first couple of times that she saw this, Tiffany ran to the door and tried to climb up, presumably to 'save me from that dreadful water'. This was not too disconcerting, in fact, it endeared her to me even more. But the toilet… Now here was a problem!

Monkey Face was with me for about six months before Tiffany, and as a result, he learned all of the house rules, like no standing on the toilet. This was for safety as much as anything else. You see, Monkey, although I love him very much, is…how shall I put this…a klutz! In fact, he is about the klutziest cat that I have ever met. So I needed to enforce the "No standing on toilet" rule.

Now when Tiffany came to join our little family, things changed. Oh boy, did they ever! Tiffany is the complete opposite of Monkey. She is young, petite, short-haired and very agile. And, oh yes, SHE DOESN'T FOLLOW THE RULES! When I scold her, Tiffany actually looks at me with eyes that say, "Rules? What rules?" Then she goes on to do whatever she pleases. Tiffany learned very early that I wouldn't hurt her and she takes advantage of that fact every day of her life! She's my 'living on the edge' cat.

Anyway, back to the toilet. The other day I was in my office working, when I heard the cats talking to one another. This wasn't so different from any other day, so I ignored them and continued working. A couple of hours later, I went back to the bathroom and noticed that I had left the lid up on the toilet. Well, no problem. I had done this before. But wait…there was water on the seat, a lot of water. Oops! It looks like a cat went swimming! I hurriedly checked Monkey (because he was the one I could catch first, remember, The Klutz?) and he was dry. Then I enticed Tiffany to let me look her over and she, too, was dry. Now this was a mystery.

I went back to search the toilet for more clues. Ah ha! There on the back of the toilet were two Monkey Face hairs! Was it my klutzy Monkey who took a dive? I guess we will never know for neither of the cats are talking!




Firm Friends

Cats seem capable of surpassing their instincts from time to time, to make friends with animals that are normally adversaries, and to adopt them as play pals. From dogs to ducks, they overcome their ordinary appetites for the sake of a special friend. In the following case, a rather large acquantaince...

Trunks And Tails

In the Zoological Gardens, the boon companion of the colossal elephant was a common cat! This cat had a fashion of climbing up the elephant's hind legs, and roosting on his back. She would sit up there, with her paws curved under her breast, and sleep in the sun half the afternnon. It used to annoy the elephant at first and he would reach up and take her down, but she would go aft and climb up again. She persisted until she finally conquered the elephant's prejudices, and now they are inseparable friends. The cat plays about her comrade's forefeet or his trunk often, until the dogs approach, and then she goes aloft out of danger. The elephant has annihilated several dogs lately, that pressed his companion too closely.

Mark Twain (1835-1919)




Recommended book:

The Animal Connection - A Guide to Intuitive communication with your pet.

Author: Judy Meyer

Ever wondered how your dog knows you're going out - even before you grab your keys? Or why your cat seems to read your mind when it's time for dinner?

Do you wish you could tell your pet to stay off the sofa? Be careful with the good china? Stop destroying the house while you're gone?

Wouldn't you love to ask him about some of the weird things he does?

Whether you have a Lhaso Apso or a Maine Coon cat, communication is a two-way street. In "The Animal Connection," famed animal specialist Judy Meyer reveals how you can use your intuitive powers to become more deeply atuned to your pet's needs and desires. With this one-of-a-kind guide, you'll learn how to: Hear and understand what your pet is telling you, express your feelings in a loving, nurturing tone, and much, much more.

ISBN: 0-452-28174=1

Published by the Penguin Group.




And finally...

Quote: "A cat I keep, that plays about my house, grown fat with eating many a miching mouse." - Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

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