Suddenly Last Caturday

A Look Back at
Some Cats We Met

There were cat politicians and those who talk to each other. Vicious accusations and their continuous Web domination. There were psychic cats, avalanche rescue cats, and a pretty Chimera calico. There were feral keepers of Roman ruins, plus a humbly personal memorial.
The Chinese calendar says it’s still the Year of the Dragon, and after February, the Snake will be up. At Colltales, though, these and other stories made sure it’s been a smooth, discreet, Zen-like year of the cat. We thought of taking a stroll back to revisit these masters once more.
SPEAK SOFTLY & RUN FOR OFFICE
In August, we published one of our favorite stories of 2012, about cats who clearly know how to talk to each other. We lined up a few examples that scored high with our readers. We still have no idea what they were talking about, but they did give us hope that, one day, we too will be able to speak with that kind of tenderness.

Another time, we ran a story also about a couple of cats, but the politician kind. As it turns out, people in Hallifax, Canada, almost had the chance to have what people in Talkeetna, Alaska, have had for 15 years: a mayor who’s a cat. It was close but Tuxedo Stan didn’t get what Stubbs has had all these years: enough votes. Maybe next time.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN THE CAT MADE YOU DO IT?
As with any Internet celebrity, cats too have to put up with periodic backlashes. We dutifully reported the latest toxoplasmosis research and the still highly speculative claims that its parasite may be the culprit for anti-social behavior. But we sure made a point too that it may be all a great conspiracy, designed by hate groups who’re bent on destroying the felines’ reputation.
The research may still have merit, of course. But it may as well be pure envy. After cats overtook dogs as America’s favorite pets, they quickly established total domination of the cyber space too. And that may make a lot of people uncomfortable. Well, live with that; watching their Internet videos is still the best antidote against madness.

RESCUE CATS & NAIL CLIPPING BAN
Cat lovers scored big right at the beginning of the year, when Israel joined several other countries banning Onycheectomy, or as Wikipedia puts it, declawing for cats. It’s a barbaric habit, cultivated by hipsters who shouldn’t touch cats anyway, even if they, of all people, can afford to change the furniture, or the cost of anti-allergic meds.
Another story that, for some reason, we filed along the infamous Moscow Circus Cats, was about a Canadian group dedicated to training cats for rescue avalanche victims. We’re still not sure about that one, and we reported it as such. But it made it for yet another positive angle of the personality of this fascinating animal.

KUBRICK’S PET & THE BEAUTY OF MUTANTS
A post we wrote in May, dedicated to the untimely death of 39-pounder Meow, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, wound up dominated by the story about late film director Stanley Kubrick and his own cat, Molly. In a famous interview, the director of The Shinning reveals that Molly’s psychic abilities inspired him to direct the movie. How would you top that?
With one of the rarest and most beautiful cats ever caught on camera, of course. Named after the goddess (and planet of love) Venus, the calico with a perfectly symmetrical face, split in black and white and yellow, was quickly nicknamed the Chimera Cat. Her story turned what was supposed to be a scary tale about freaks of nature into one of our most inspired posts.

FERALS OF ROME & A REMEMBRANCE
One of the recurrent themes of our cat coverage has been about sanctuaries found all over the world, that nurture and protect felines. But we’ve also captured a much more disturbing global phenomenon: the semi-wild cats roaming in big cities. A great example is the group lurking around the Roman ruins. A sad sight, for despite being great for pictures, no amount of charity can provide for them.
Our private memories also found their way to these pages, when we paid our respects to the memory of the two greatest cats of our lives, Boconcini & Margareta. Not wanting to indulge in personal recollections about each one of them, it was enough for us to just memorialize them with a few, weepy words, even if they could never make justice to the times the three of us had.

A TOAST TO OUR FURRY FRIENDS
We wrote much more about cats in these past two and half years, of course, as we realize that a few of the stories we’ve selected to retell go beyond the dawning of 2012. So what? We’ve enjoyed a lot writing about them and us, and often the comparison painted a poor picture of our own species.
There were stories about imaging X-Ray research, of places where (lonely) people go just to pet cats, and of pet companions who walk their humans on their way to work, and wait for them at the station at the end of the day. As we reread them, we hope you get a fresh look at some of what we’ve managed to learn from them.
There were sailor stories, of cats at sea, and monasteries dedicated to shelter them. There’s a highway in the jungle, designed for wild ones. And there was a kiddo who could purr louder than an airplane. We collected them all, and had a ball too. So here’s to one of the finest ways we know of entering a new year: showing our appreciation and sharing our passion for cats. Happy New Year, dear friends.

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