A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cats of the Week: Sadie and Sarah in Baltimore

Each week in this space, we feature a senior cat in need of adoption or sponsorship. Please remember all the older cats in shelters. They make great companions, and unlike kittens, they (probably) won’t climb the curtains! Adopt a senior cat, and help him or her enjoy the best years of their life.

This week we bring you a bonded pair of cats looking for a new home near Baltimore. Sadie is 11 years old, female, and laid back. She is on hyperthyroid medication. Sarah is 9 years old, female, and has such beautiful calico coloring! These kitties are both friendly and affectionate. They had to come to the shelter because of their person’s health. They’ve lived together for their whole lives, so they must be adopted together. We just know there is some terrific person in the Baltimore area who is looking to add some beauty, affection, and meows to their home.

Sound like you? Learn more about Sadie here and Sarah here.       

Can’t adopt? You can still help! Check out Sammy’s Cat Necessities Fund, which provides money for everyday and medical needs of cats at the Baltimore Humane Society. You can also make a general donation or sponsor a particular animal on this page. Every little bit helps!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cat Classics on Film: The Cat from Outer Space

Some movies are just fun. The Cat from Outer Space (1978) is one of them. This is the kind of wacky Disney movie that’s fun to watch from your sofa while eating a large bowl of extremely buttered popcorn. Let me be clear … this is not a great movie, but part of the fun is in its not-greatness.

See, there’s this cat in a spaceship…

The Cat from Outer Space opens with a UFO making an emergency landing in a farmer’s field. The spacecraft’s door opens, and out steps … a cat. Soon enough the military is involved, taking over the craft but not noticing the cat, who hitches a ride to a base called Hopscotch. There, a security-conscious general (played by Harry Morgan) rounds up a group of scientists to try to figure out the craft’s mysterious propulsion system. They briefly bring in a visiting scientist, Dr. Frank Wilson (Ken Berry). I say “briefly” because Frank is quickly thrown out when he starts talking about electromagnetism and biofeedback and such things. The cat follows him back to his office.

And just like that, Frank is befriending the alien cat and taking him home, where, not surprisingly, the cat begins to talk to him. Well, not “talk” exactly. It’s thought transference. At least that’s what the cat, now named Jake, says … or thinks. Jake also tells Frank that he has just 36 hours to fix his spaceship so he can get flying again and meet up with the mother ship. Frank agrees to help, but their plans hit a major snag when it turns out they’ll need $120,000 worth of gold to fix Jake’s spaceship. In today’s dollars, that would be … a lot.

See, the cat has this collar…

How do you raise 120 grand in a hurry? Well, if you happen to have a neighbor who’s a gambler (McLean Stevenson), you make a really big bet on three football games. Then you have the cat with the collar that lets him move objects or people influence the outcome of the games. Just mentally nudge the ball a little bit this way, and your team wins. Easy peasy.

Was the cat actor sedated?

And this brings us to the part of the story where a well-meaning but misinformed vet sedates Jake at a critical point in the gambling scheme. With Jake temporarily out, there’s no way to control the game, and the big bet is lost. We were left wondering whether the cat actor was actually sedated for these scenes. (The part of Jake was played by two Abyssinians, by the way.) He looked sedated as the actors held the sleeping, very still cat. We haven’t been able to find any information on this, so we can’t say for sure. But we can say that sedation would be a crappy, not to mention potentially dangerous, way to get a cat actor to do what you want him to do. We hope that this particular cat actor was just really good at pretending to sleep.

Hokey but fun

As I said above, The Cat from Outer Space is not a great film, but it is fun. The story is preposterous, the special effects are hokey—wires are pretty clearly visible when people are “flying,” and the stuffed stunt cat used in the airplane shots does not come close to looking like an actual feline. But for us, seeing the hokeyness is part of the fun.

A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good movie; two paws is for a great movie. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

The link below is an Amazon Associates link. If you purchase the movie through this link, old SoLT and I could get some coin for our kibble account. Thank you!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Caturday Art: Paisley in Oils

For this week's Caturday Art blog hop, hosted by Athena and Marie, old SoLT did some experimenting in Photoshop, followed by more experimenting in PicMonkey. It's hard to get the different colors in Real Cat Paisley's coat to show up nicely in photos. But if you change them to different colors, sometimes the contrasts pop a little more. That's what happened in this picture, which we are quite pleased with:

In Photoshop, old SoLT first bumped the brightness and contrast way up. She then played around with the channel mixer until she had colors she liked. She decided on blues and greens. Next was a Solarize filter, followed by some adjustments to hue and saturation. Then she applied the Oil Paint filter. She then took the resulting  picture into PicMonkey, where she applied a Chill effect and decided to crop it so the focus would really be on Paisley. Finally, she added two frames: a drop shadow and a museum matte. By the way, no, she did not plan this; she just kept saying, "I wonder what happens if I...?"

Here's the original photo:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Words with Webster (Resorption), Plus Friendly Fill-Ins

We have two features for you this Friday. First up is Words with Webster, and then it’s on to Friendly Fill-Ins. Let’s get right to it with Webs’s kind-of-serious word.

Words with Webster: Resorption

 Hi, all! Webster here, with a new cat-related word for you. This week’s word is in observation of Pet Dental Health Month. The word is “resorption.” This is when the dentin (the hard, bony part) of a tooth erodes and is eventually destroyed. It is a very common condition in cats. The Cornell Feline Health Center says that 20–60% of all cats and almost 75% of cats at least 5 years old have some resorption. No one is really sure what causes it. Resorption can become very painful. A common first sign is when a cat starts eating differently, not chewing her food, or chewing on only one side of the mouth. Tooth extraction is the only effective treatment.

I remind you to take care of your cat’s dental health this month. Teeth are important! 

Take care of your cat's dental health all year
but especially during Pet Dental Health Month.
Image credit: Rasulov, via Adobe Stock.

Friendly Fill-Ins

And now to Friendly Fill-Ins, from 15andmeowing and McGuffy’s Reader. They are a fun way to learn a little bit about the authors of the blogs you read. The first two questions, answered by old SoLT, are from Ellen of 15andmeowing, and the next two, answered this week by Real Cat Paisley, are from Annie of McGuffy’s Reader.

Old SoLT’s answers
1.Snow was a lot more fun 30 years ago (when I might get a day off school) than it is today (when I have to shovel it).

2. My favorite kind of soup is Maryland crab soup, followed closely by corn chowder.
Real Cat Paisley’s answers

3. When no one is around, I take lots of naps. When I’m awake and alone, I plot different ways to scare the dog.

4. My mommy is my best friend, because she picked me out from all the other kitties at that adoption event.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pop Quiz! Do You Know Your Cat Breeds?

Do you think you know cat breeds pretty well? Are you ready for a little quiz on that topic? Thanks to the folks at The Pet Community, we have just such a test for you today. Old SoLT took it and, thanks to some lucky guesses along with her actual knowledge, she scored 80%. She's proud of that, but I say it leaves 20% room for improvement.

Have fun with the quiz, and let us know how you did in the comments (especially if you outscore old SoLT, because I would really love to hear about that!). And be sure to visit the Real Cats at The Pet Community. They'd love to see you there!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cat of the Week: Meatloaf in Westhampton (NY)

Each week in this space, we feature a senior cat in need of adoption or sponsorship. Please remember all the great older cats in shelters. They make great companions, and they (probably) won’t climb the curtains! Adopt a senior cat, and give him or her the best years of their lives.

This week we’re introducing Meatloaf. This handsome guy has been through some terrible times. He lived with a person who overfed him, causing him to become so morbidly obese he could not walk on his paws. Then his person had to go into a nursing home, and the family did not take care of him. Some real estate agents found him in the home and threw him outside. (Hiss!) He wound up in a shelter, but it wasn’t until the kind folks at Bideawee came into the picture that Meatloaf was really safe. (Yay!) They took him in and put him on a special diet, and he has lost two pounds already.

Meatloaf is 8 years old. His size is listed as “XL,” and the lucky family who adopts him will have to continue his special diet so he can trim down further. Despite how some people have treated him, Meatloaf is still a very gentle guy and is very affectionate. He just needs someone to love who will love him back. Maybe you?

Meatloaf is currently at Bideawee’s Westhampton location. Learn more about here.

Can’t adopt but still want to help Meatloaf and other cats at Bideawee? Learn how you can sponsor a pet, become a Bideawee member, or make a donation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I Heart You, I Hurt You: A Valentine from Tortie Troublemaker

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! We so appreciate you all for spending a few moments of your day with us. Today we’re very pleased to welcome Tortie Troublemaker (a.k.a. Real Cat Paisley) to the blog. It seems she has written a poem for Valentine’s Day. We think any of you whose feline companions get “prickly” (a.k.a. “scratchy” and/or “bitey”) will be able to relate. It's titled "I Heart You, I Hurt You."

You pet me, you stroke me, you tell me I’m great.
I heart you.
You sleep in, you dawdle, my breakfast is late.
I hurt you.
You scoop out my box and make it all clean.
I heart you.
You try a weird litter. “Improved”? No, it’s mean.
I hurt you.
You sit still for hours, I sleep in your lap.
I heart you.
You “have to go pee” and disturb my nice nap.
I hurt you.
You bring me fun toys, like feathers and balls.
I heart you.
You have a big fit if I scratch up the walls.
I hurt you.
You gave me a home, keep me happy and safe.
We play “catch the feather,” and around the room we race.
You tell me I’m special, that I’m number one.
Whatever we do, we always have fun.
I know that you love me, even when I scratch.
Of all the humans in the world, you’re my perfect match.
I heart you! I heart you! I heart you!

Candy Hearts photo, "I heart you"
Photo credit: Jason Stitt, via Adobe Stock.