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In my mind, it doesn’t get much better than watching a Kansas City Royals game with one or both of my cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix, curled up purring on my lap. (Of course, they freak out and run for cover every time my boyfriend and I erupt with applause after another Kendrys Morales home run or highlight-reel catch by Lorenzo Cain — but I digress.)

When it comes to baseball, my cats are avid spectators — and I’m convinced their belly floof is lucky. Other kitties, however, have had a more direct influence on the game, doing everything from attacking the grounds crew to throwing out the first pitch. Check out these cats who left their distinctive paw prints on America’s favorite pastime.

1. Most exciting part of the game

Back in 2009, the Royals were not having a good year. They lost 97 games and finished last in the American League Central division, meaning fans of the beleaguered team spent a lot of time watching crappy baseball. It must have been a welcome diversion when a cat ran onto the field during the fifth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners, even though the poor kitty was clearly terrified. 

2. Hero cat throws out first pitch

Remember Tara the Hero Cat, who saved a little boy from being attacked by a dog? The cat’s bravery did not go unnoticed: Last summer, the tenacious tabby “threw” the first pitch at a minor-league Bakersfield Blaze game, accompanied by her humans and the little boy she saved. Tara is definitely a good sport.

3. Killer kitten

Nagging questions about how in the heck a kitten wound up on a baseball field notwithstanding, I don’t blame the cat for attacking the grounds crew dudes who chased her and grabbed her by her tail. These guys might know how to preserve the field in the event of a rain delay, but they clearly have no idea how to catch a cat. Let’s just hope their team is better at catching baseballs.

4. Cat delay

This little kitty caused a delay in the ninth inning of a minor-league Myrtle Beach Pelicans game, outrunning a player, several people wearing khaki shorts, and the team’s mascot before a member of the grounds crew wisely subdued the cat with a towel.

5. A real power hitter

Okay, so Simon’s Cat isn’t attending or invading a game in this adorable animation, but after using a baseball bat to snap his owner out of REM sleep, it’s pretty obvious this demanding kitty should be batting cleanup.

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About the author: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

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I bet that most readers here think their cats have plenty of personality. And I agree. I think each of my cats has a unique, wonderful personality. But I was baffled years ago when someone remarked to me that my cats had “so much personality” compared to other cats. This person claimed that the cats in their own life had no personality, and were also standoffish, ignored them, and hid under the bed. I’d bet that some of you have heard similar remarks about cats.

After I heard this, I began to think about what I did that possibly let my cats’ personalities shine through. Here’s what I came up with:

1. I spend a lot of time with my cats

We all thrive on interaction and attention. So do cats. I like to spend a lot of time with them. Time spent with them increases our bond.

The quiet Kieran still loves to play in and sleep in a box.

2. I play with my cats

Playing with cats is healthy for them, makes them happy, makes me happy, and lets me observe how they like to play. Sometimes, this gives me clues into their inherent personalities. For example, Norton will play at the drop of a hat. He is easily stimulated, young, and curious about anything. Playing is really good for Norton, and it brings out his easy, happy-go-lucky personality.

On the other hand, Kieran has a shyer, quieter personality. He will play, but it takes some effort. (He also has arthritis in his low spine, so he’s not as likely to jump around.) I know it makes Kieran happy to have attention, whether directed through play or otherwise, so I play with him in a quieter way, and I don’t expect him to be as boisterous.

For example, I could get wild with a feather toy right away, if playing with Norton. With Kieran, I need to be more patient and slower with the toy to get his attention. I might gently drag it across his paw to get him interested. Soon, he’ll be laying on his back, happily swatting at the toy. This is what I mean by trying to work with each cat in their own way to draw out their own unique personalities.

3. I take cues from the cats

I alluded to this a little already. At the risk of anthropomorphizing (it’s difficult not to when you are trying to describe your cat’s personality), my Rama seems to be a one-person cat. So I give him lots of opportunities to be with me, alone. Rama has a certain body language and movement that tells me that he’s suddenly in the mood to snuggle. He’ll leap on to a bed or couch and wait for me to follow so that he can snuggle with me. He does not like to share this experience. If another cat enters the bedroom, Rama lets his displeasure be known. Rama is a cat who likes his alone time with his people, and we do the best to accommodate.

4. I try to meet them where they are

Without going overboard (for example, I make mealtimes pretty regular, regardless of what the cats might lobby for), I try to be observant enough to notice if my cats want to interact. They often do. The living room of our house, for example, seems a favorite gathering place for our cats. If we make a point of spending time just sitting, reading, doing music, or being in the living room, the cats pick up on this and congregate with us in a very contented way. The very fact that I am consciously interacting with them rather than ignoring them for much of the day is something that I believe facilitates “personality.”

I’ve found this real beneficial with older cats. It seems that the stimulation of intentional positive interaction, or play, helps keep a cat interested in life and engaged.

5. I spend a lot of time watching them

I love to observe my cats. That’s how I’m able to discern their personalities. Jamie Bluebell has a fun-loving, humorous streak, for example. (My vet calls it “being a calico.”) When Jamie gets worked up or happy for no reason, she’ll start dashing around the house, eyes wide. She’ll roll on the floor happily, repeatedly exposing her belly. And she’ll amp up the talking. Jamie’s talking sounds something like, “Woo! Woo!” When I respond in a similar fashion — yes, I am crazy — she seems to like it and responds more. Am I encouraging the emergence of a fun-loving personality, or am I simply reinforcing a behavior? I am not sure, but we both seem to be having fun.

6. I change when they change — so to speak

I’ll keep an eye on shifts in cat dynamics and personalities. Sometimes, this can happen in a multi-cat household. Jamie was more fearful, at first, with the introduction of Zorro. She stayed in my office — her safe place. So I made sure that I interacted with her in the office and that she didn’t get ignored. Now, I’m happy to say that Jamie is a spunky girl, and she often flirts with Zorro. She will also take the opportunity to run up behind him and gently smack him in the butt. Things are always changing! I’m just grateful that everyone gets along and that serious cat fights don’t occur.

Just because a cat hides under the bed does not mean she has no personality. There are many things we can do to help a cat’s unique personality blossom.

Do you intentionally try to encourage your cat’s personality emergence? Tell me about it in the comments!

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

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When I bought my house a year ago, I didn’t envision kitchen renovations, but clearly my kitties, Ghost Cat and Specter, did.

They scratched walls, got too close to hot elements, and knocked clean dishes to the floor, until we realized this space just wasn’t working for our family.

We are now in the middle of a major kitchen renovation, something that I never wanted or intended to have to live through, but in the end it is going to make all our lives easier and it will make things a little safer for my cats.

My cats were pretty excited when the renovations they prompted began.

My husband and I never would have started this process if the cats (or more accurately, Specter) hadn’t clawed up the 3D Martha Stewart panel-style wallpaper that once decorated the south wall of our kitchen. That was the first straw, really. That wallpaper was really cute, in fact, it helped sell me on the house in the first place. It wasn’t until our building inspector pointed out how soft and squishy the wallpaper was that I realized it might be an issue. 

A sample of Specter’s handiwork. This wallpaper needed to come down.

When Specter arrived in our household a couple months after we closed on the house, she was a lot quicker to realize she wasn’t looking at real panelling than I was. She took her sharp little kitten claws to the wallpaper as soon as she could and quickly figured out that it was perfect for shredding.

As much as we tried to teach Specter to scratch other things (cat trees, cardboard scratch pads, you name it) she still got her claws in the wallpaper a couple more times and even influenced Ghost Cat to join her in a scratch session that got them both into trouble.

Baby Speck had plenty of toys, but still went after my wallpaper.

When my husband and I stepped back and surveyed the damage to the wallpaper, we realized it would need to come down eventually. We lived with the scratched-up wall for a few months before finally taking the plunge and pulling all the damaged paper down (revealing badly damaged drywall that was too pitted to be painted). The cats really enjoyed the night we removed the wallpaper, scampering through the torn sheets of paper we ripped from the wall and tossed to the floor. While Ghost Cat and Specter scratched up the remnants of our once-pretty wall, my husband and I contemplated how we were going to fix up our now-ugly kitchen.

The aftermath of our wallpaper pulling party. Poor Speck had to move paper to get to her water.

We stood in the middle of the room, staring at the wall, and realized that there were some other flaws in our kitchen that we needed to address — some of them concerning the kitties. We had been using our kitchen island as a feeding station for our kitties. We keep their automatic kibble dispenser on top of the butcher block where it’s out of reach of the dogs, and we keep cans of wet cat food and kitty treats in the drawer below the butcher block. The drawer is much harder for Ghost Cat to open than our cupboards are, so she’s no longer able to help herself to extra servings of treats, and Ghost Cat and Specter seem to enjoy getting fed high off the ground.

Ghost Cat always liked her feeding station, but I didn’t like its location next to the stove.

The only problem with using the island as a feeding station was its location — the movable cupboard was semi-permanently placed between our stove and fridge. Most of the time that didn’t bother me, but every once in a while Ghost Cat or Specter would get too close to the hot stove for my comfort. I don’t cook much, but I do heat up some noodles or fry an egg every once in a while, so sometimes those elements can be dangerously red. I kept saying we needed to move the island away from the stove, and for a while we didn’t know what we would put in it’s place to fill the void between our fridge and our stove.

At the same time, my husband was trying to come up with a way to squeeze a dishwasher into our 1950s kitchen. We’d been using a drying rack after washing the dishes in the sink, but the rack was often filled to bursting and the kitties were constantly jumping up on the counter and knocking the precariously piled dishes out of their rack. We wanted a solution that would be both a little more sanitary (who wants to eat off a plate a cat has rubbed up against?) and wouldn’t result in dishes falling to the floor every few days.

We knew a dishwasher would keep our dishes safe from our kitties, but we just couldn’t seem to fit one in our kitchen. We’re still rocking our original (read, ancient) cupboards, which means our countertop isn’t tall enough to fit a dishwasher under — but the hole left vacant by the kitties’ food island turned out to be the perfect size for the modern appliance. I guess I can thank my cats for helping to bring my kitchen into the 21st century.

We’re now about halfway through our kitty-inspired renovation, and Ghost Cat and Specter are adjusting well. The dishwasher still doesn’t have a cabinet built around it, but that hasn’t stopped Ghosty and Speck from jumping up to investigate the space that used to house their feeding station (which has been moved to safer location, away from the hot stove.)

“I used to find food here. Where have you hidden it?”

As for the wall once destroyed by tiny kitten claws, well, it’s now covered in hard wood paneling, which does not seem to interest Speck in the least (and would be pretty much impossible for her to damage). We still have to add some trim, some paint, and a few more finishing touches, but the whole kitchen is really coming along. The cats are happier (and safer), and so are we humans.

Have your cats ever inspired you to take on a remodeling project? Tell us in the comments!

Read more about cats, furniture, fame, and household goings-on:

About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kittenGhostBuster the Lab and her newest dog, Marshmallow, make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +.

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Cats poop in boxes and then bury the poop with their feet. We know this, and it’s gross, but we overlook it because, seriously, look at their faces. Still, that doesn’t mean we want them walking on our kitchen countertops. That’s where we make the food. Poop feet + food prep = #NOPE.

Because cats are sneaky and seem to take pleasure in messing with us, it can be really hard to keep them from planting their pads where we eat — hard, but not impossible. These videos offer some suggestions on how to keep kitty’s feet on the ground.

1. Masking tape

Simba the cat is in for a bit of a surprise when he prepares to go about his normal routine of slinking around the kitchen sink. He was ready to brave the aluminum foil his human left waiting for him, but the masking tape forces him to retreat in shame.

2. Ssscat

Apparently Ssscat is a kind of repellant that works by emitting a “brisk, harmless spray” of air when its sensors detect motion within a three-foot radius. Jawa the cat’s humans employed Ssscat in training him to stay off the kitchen counter, with decidedly hilarious (and most likely effective) results.

3. Hair-removal tape

When this guy’s cats wouldn’t stay off the counter, he lured them back to the scene of the crime with food … surrounded by face-up sheets of tape from one of those lint rollers. This method seems a bit like entrapment, but hey, whatever works.

4. Ask Jackson Galaxy

According to the Cat Daddy, cats love countertops for two reasons: because they like to be up high, and because there’s food up there. His solution seems so obvious: Don’t leave food sitting out, and give kitty another high vantage point from which to survey her kingdom.

5. Aluminum foil

This cat’s intense aluminum foil freakout is still one of my favorite cat videos of all time. 

Watch more videos we love by Angela Lutz

Learn more about your cat with Catster:

About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

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The Colonel and Penelope

Posted May 17th, 2015 by admin

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Grace is a tortoiseshell kitty who is part of the wobbly cat movement. Having been born with the condition cerebellar hypoplasia, she struts around with something of a wavy lilt to her stride. She seems to be doing well in her loving forever home now, but as a rescue she also had to overcome a tumultuous start to her life. Here’s her story.

All images via Facebook.

Back in the summer of 2014, Grace was found wandering the cold streets of Wyandotte, Michigan. It turned out that she had been dumped by her previous owners — who also hindered her start in life by committing the crime of declawing this sweet-faced little tortie.

After being taken in by animal care and control, it was also discovered that Grace’s vision wasn’t exactly 20/20. She was even feared to be blind at one point. Needless to say, Grace’s original owners never contacted ACC to see if it had found their cat.

In a bid to get Grace adopted into a new home, her photo was put on Facebook, and she ended up making the move to Cleveland. At first, Grace’s new environment was a challenge.

An update on her Facebook page puts it this way: “I couldn’t jump onto anything. My coordination was awful and so was my vision. After about a month, though, my wobble was greatly reduced, and I was able to jump up on the low futon in my sanctuary room. After two months I was able to get up on the couches and chairs, and after three months I shocked the heck out of Mom and took a flying leap onto the guest room bed. I’ll always have a wobble, but it’s much better now.”

These days, Grace seems comfortable in her forever home. She’s put on weight since first arriving there and seems to have a healthy enthusiasm towards playing with her toys. So mosey on over to her official Facebook page to keep up to date with this Tortie cutie.

Read about more Monday Miracles on Catster:

About Phillip Mlynar: The self-appointed world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats. When not penning posts on rap music, he can be found building DIY cat towers for his adopted domestic shorthair, Mimosa, and collecting Le Creuset cookware (in red). He has also invented cat sushi, but it’s not quite what you think it is.

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