Weekend Cat Blogging #345 round-up

As stated yesterday, we at CatSynth are stepping in at the last minute to host the round-up for Weekend Cat Blogging #345.

And we did get a few entries, so let us continue with the round-up.

First up, we have this very sweet image of Jules and Vincent together at Judi’s Mind Over Matter. They share brotherly love, and body heat.

Napping appears to be the order of the day (isn’t it always), and Meowza has staked out a good spot, on his human’s lap. But it’s mutually beneficial. Human acts as cushion and cat acts as space heater.

At Jan’s Funny Farm, Percy and the other cats decide to get a nice gift for Jan. Fortunately, they have sense not to select a cat bed.

At Animal Shelter Volunteer Life, they are celebrating the gifts of new homes for many of the cats, including Diamond pictured above. The PAWS shelter has been able to place a great many cats into new homes in both December and January!

At Pam’s Sidewalk Shows, the crew invites readers to submit their own captions for this week’s picture (shown above). Be witty, be creative, and leave them a suggestion.

Truffle and Brulee are taking it easy this Sunday, and have some advice for their mom that spending time with them will be healing. We at CatSynth agree that time with cats been be very good for one’s health.

And a bit of “WCB Apocrypha.” Susan St. Clair is a regular visitor for Wordless Wednesday and the Weekend Photo Hunt, which was part of yesterday’s post. But her photo hunt image is too cute not to include in this round-up.

We will continue to update through the end of Sunday, Pacific Standard Time, so if you would like to participate, please leave a comment below.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Hallowe’en Black Cat Edition

We at CatSynth are happy to be hosting Weekend Cat Blogging #282: Hallowe’en Black Edition. It has become a bit of a tradition for us to host every year and celebrate black cats.

There is no shortage of symbolism linking black cats and Hallowe’en, in cards and signs, trinkets and decorations.

There is also no shortage of discussion about the treatment of black cats around this time of year, and many animal shelters continue to suspend adoptions of black cats around Hallowe’en, or during the entire month of October. The concern that seems to have the most credibility is that of people adopting black cats as “living decorations” for holiday, and then bringing them back to the shelter afterwards. From a recent article on Catster:

“There’s really no documentation that shows any cruelty,” said Stephen Wright, a spokesman for the Naples Humane Society. “We pretty much think it’s an urban legend.”…However, “we screen people really well, especially around Halloween when it comes to black cats, to see if they really want a cat or just a decoration,” Wright said.

Personally, I would worry much about “ritualistic cruelty”, which seems as much myth and stereotype of some people’s beliefs as those surrounding black cats themselves. But I would be concerned about pranks or impulsive acts. The image of an adolescent boy harming a cat around Hallowe’en to impress his peers seems all too real to me.

So let us keep our cats safely indoors this holiday season, and focus on celebration and love. Black is beautiful!

And without further ado, let us get on with the WCB round-up. If you would like to join us, please leave a comment below, or tweet us @catsynth with the hash tag #weekendcatblogging. We would of course love to have lots of fellow black cats join us, but all felines are welcome!

Another tradition of Hallowe’en is pumpkin displays, and Nikita Cat presents street scenes featuring cats and pumpkins, in southern California.

He also explains that the penchant for scary stories cuts across species.

Over at House Panthers, Tillie would like to wish a Happy Hallowe’en to all the black cats (and everyone else). Those are some very impressive teeth!

Meanwhile, Tillie’s brother Mickey is also celebrating Hallowe’en, and his anniversary with Misses Peach. He is will be going out this year as “Count Mickula”. (Of course, we mean “going out” in a staying-safe-indoors sort of way.) He and the rest of his family have this nice card for the holiday, and we of course appreciate the musical theme.

More costume fun with Samantha, Clementine and Maverick. They all seem quite patient in posing for their official photos, we hope they got lots of treats.

Earnie of the Island Cats wishes everyone a Happy Hallowe’en via his special laser-eye messaging technique:

Jules, Vincent and Judi also wish everyone a Happy Hallowe’en, and have offered this beautiful and stylized portrait:

Meanwhile, EJ had a harrowing Hallowe’en at The Chair Speaks as one of the rescue cats had a scary complication from an old operation.

Noll offers up a Hallowe’en-themed Smilebox for everyone to enjoy.  Among the featured photos is one of Noll’s cousin Gizmo “getting his spooky on”.

We always enjoy hearing from other cats named Luna, and here we see Luna T. Katt modeling a pumpkin costume (and not looking particularly pleased about it):

And finally, the cats at PAWS want to wish everyone happy and safe Hallowe’en!

Thanks to everyone who submitted this weekend! We will continue to post updates throughout the day and into early Monday, so there is still time to join us.

And while this may nothing to do with cats or holiday per se, it is still the first time that the orange and black of the San Francisco Giants has been represented on Hallowe’en! Here’s to hoping that our neighbors (literally) win tonight and ultimately win the series in November!

Weekend Cat Blogging: Holiday Windows

This weekend, we present some of the cats featured in the Macy’s SF/SPCA Holiday Windows. Every year during the holidays, San Francisco SPCA teams up with Macy’s in San Francisco to feature adoptable pets in the holiday window displays at their main store in Union Square.

Here are couple of kittens in one window:

and this handsome black cat:

Many passers-by in this busy shopping district were surprised and delighted by the live animals in the displays.   We at CatSynth certainly hope that some of these animals, including the cats featured above, find new homes as a result of this program.

To find out more about the program, including when to see the animals and how you can contribute, please visit the official Macy’s SF/SPCA Holiday Windows site.

Weekend Cat Blogging #238 will be hosted by our friends at the House of the (Mostly) Black Cats.

Carnival of the Cats will be going up this Sunday at When Cats Attack!.

And of course the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Happy Holidays!

Weekend Cat Blogging: our neighbor

The M-Cats Club is hosting Weekend Cat Blogging, so we at CatSynth thought it would be appropriate to feature a “man cat.”

This is our neighbor Henry, who has visited us a few times. Luna is still a bit wary of him, though.

and keeps a watchful eye on him:

Weekend Cat Blogging #202 is hosted by Mr. Tigger and the M-Cats Club.

Whenever there are two cats here, this is always some chaos. The Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos will be hosted by Kashim and Othello and Salome.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up this Sunday at Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Thoughts for Jason of Criz Cats who has gone missing, and for the other cats who have been sick or passed away in what was a difficult week.

CatSynth pic: Analogue Synthesizer ETI project

From an auction, via matrixsynth:

(The original post has a larger pic of the synth)

This ETI Synthesizer project was built around 1979 by my father, the modules all worked when I powered them up recently (the original keyboard and power supply is not available due to someone connecting the mains to a +/- 12Volt input!) The modules consist of :

4 x VCOs
2 x VCFs
2 x VC Variable state filters
1 x Reverb unit
2 x VC Mixers
1 x Noise/Sample & Hold module
1 x DRF
1 x Ring Modulator
2 x Dual ADSR modules
2 x Dual VCAs
1 x Dual Envelope Generator
1 x VC Envelope Generator
1 x D-A Convertor
1 PA (not tested)

The Miracle Cats that survived a wildfire

I had planned to post the story of Adam and Abe, the cats that survived a wildfire for Thanksgiving after reading their story on Monday. That was before more of the world started burning – some of the fires are natural, some human-made, and all are tragic. But perhaps this story is still appropriate, to know that these beautiful and much-loved black cats both survived the terrible wildfires in southern California and that small joys are always possible.

Halloween Weekend Cat Blogging: Black Cat Appreciation

This special Halloween edition of Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Linda and Aggie over at kayaksoup. It is a lovely warm sunny October afternoon here on the left coast, and Luna has some lovely harvest-themed pictures to share:

Here Luna obliges us with the traditional Halloween pose:

Sadly, Halloween can be a difficult time for cats in the United States, especially black kitties. The image of the black cat as “bad luck” or witches' familiars permeate folklore as well as the pop culture and commerce surrounding Halloween. Ritual sacrifice and harm to black cats is largely documented to be an urban legend, but the fiction can influence kids. Indeed, animal killing and abuse does rise around halloween mostly because of “poorly-behaved kids” influenced by the folk and popular images:

Far too often, the animals are tortured and sacrificed during pseudo satanic-based rituals.

“But not by the real religious satanic groups,” [Lillian Dubois-Tercero, president and executive director of Arizona Pet Line] stressed. “They don't sacrifice cats and dogs. It's the idiot juveniles (who are) responsible who don't know what they're doing.”

This is one reason why many shelters control (or ban) adoptions of black cats in the weeks leading up to and immediately after Halloween. However, shelters are trying to minimize another problem faced by black cats around Halloween – people “adopting” them as living decorations, trying to go one better than the ubiquitous paper cutouts. Even if not specifically “hurt,” many of these cats are apparently returned to the shelters after Halloween. Such “shelter whiplash” can be traumatic, and if I were a cat I would lose some of my trust in humans.

About.com has an excellent article on The Perils of Halloween for Black Cats. We join the author in dubbing October as Black Cat Appreciation Month. Of course, here at CatSynth every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day.

So be kind to kitties you meet these week, and keep your own feline companions indoors. Might want to keep an eye on some of those kids, too…

UPDATE (Oct 29): AP has an article today entitled “Black cat adoptions banned on Halloween”, which discusses both the practice as well as potential downsides for already stigmatized black cats:

Janet, a black cat up for adoption, pauses on a wall ledge at the Kootenai Humane Society, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006, in Hayden, Idaho. The Kootenai Humane Society is prohibiting all black cat adoptions from mid-October to Nov. 2, fearing the ebony animals could be mistreated as a Halloween prank, or worse, be used in a satanic sacrifice. (AP Photo/ Kirk Mastin)

Doesn't Janet look a lot like Luna? Such a sweet face…