What my cat’s meow means

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A cat meows for lots of reasons

Like everybody everywhere, some cats are quite chatty, while others not so much, but at one time or another, your cat will look at you and meow. And? Chances are, your cat wants or needs something. What my cat’s meow means? Often it’s food or attention.

cat eats

Toby eats
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016

Or, maybe they’re trying to tell you something else. One morning my cat Toby, a cat of few words, leapt onto the bed I hadn’t gotten out of yet and looked at me while he was meowing. He had food, so it must be something else. I petted him behind his ear, which he loves – makes him smile. But not this time, no he looked me in the eye and meowed again. Toby had never done this before. Maybe he was saying something about the litter boxes.
I always clean their boxes every morning and if necessary, at night too. But he needed to use the litter box, and someone else had used both boxes and he wanted his litter cleaned NOW!

why cats meow

“Scratch my ears. Please.”
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2016



Other times, Toby meows because he does want his ear scratched. I love seeing Toby smile.


Or when you get home from work or taking care of errands, or whatever happens beyond your cat’s world – which is irrelevant and insignificant to your cat, you are back. Maybe, your cat greets you with a happy Meow!
Our wonderful and talkative cat Little Bear (we miss her so much) would meow every time we’d sneeze. Every time – I sneeze a lot because I’m allergic to cats, it was like she was saying “I know you love me!”

Introvert or extrovert, cats certainly communicate. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I’ve heard that cats only meow to their human companions. Either way, cats do meow as one of several ways they communicate with us.

♥     ♥     ♥

yawning cat and tiger

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yawning cat and tiger

Apparently, all mammals yawn, including cats. And tigers. Like this yawning cat and tiger.
Domestic cats and wild cats are related, as we all know. Our cats at home innately behave like wild cats: just watch how they play – it’s about getting prey, even when they look so cute batting a flying feather wand or toy mouse. Likewise, wild cats behave like our own cats.

Both tigers and cats like to sleep, a lot. In fact cats average fifteen hours a day, while tigers average eighteen hours a day. So they do a fair amount of yawning.

cat starts to yawn

Marnie starts to yawn
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

tiger starts to yawn

Tiger, Thailand
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

A theory about why we yawn

from thenakedscientists.com

One reason why we yawn is that we may be trying to stay alert or vigilant during the transition between the wakefulness and sleep. This happens in nearly all animals and may in part be a sensory response to muscle contractions from the yawn.

yawning cat

Marnie yawns like a tiger
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

yawning tiger

Tiger yawning like cat
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

another odd phenomenon about yawning, it’s contagious – for all of us.

The more people are susceptible to contagious yawning, the better their social competence and empathy,” Guggisberg says. “In humans it is clear that yawning has a social effect. It is probably an unconscious behavior. It is not clear what yawning communicates or what it achieves. But clearly it transmits some information that has some effect on brain networks or behavior.”

from webmd.com
So this social aspect may effect cats. I think it does.

Most popular cat names of 2016

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what are the most popular cat names?

When we got our three year old rescue cat, we had to change her name. Glad we did. Cats can learn their new name – she responds when we call her. Here are the most popular cat names of 2016, some classic, some unusual. Is your cat’s name on this list? Or, for your new cat or kitten, here are some suggestions:

Top 10 names for girl cats 2016

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Lucy
  4. Chloe
  5. Lily
  6. Mia
  7. Sophie
  8. Lola
  9. Nala
  10. Daisy
popular cat names

what is your cat’s name?

Top 10 names for guy cats

  1. Oliver
  2. Max
  3. Milo
  4. Simba
  5. Leo
  6. Charlie
  7. Jack
  8. Loki
  9. Smokey
  10. Jasper

See what changed in popularity from 2015

kitten birthdays

naming kittens

Top names for girl cats,

  1. Luna
  2. Chloe
  3. Bella
  4. Lucy
  5. Lilly
  6. Sophie
  7. Lola
  8. Zoe
  9. Cleo
  10. Nala


For guy cats, some are classic names, and a few unusual ones

  1. Oliver
  2. Leo
  3. Charlie
  4. Milo
  5. Max
  6. Jack
  7. George
  8. Simon
  9. Loki
  10. Simba



cat and dog in same house

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can a dog and cat in same house

coexist? Maybe even happily? Not always.
What about these guys?

Meet Sushi the cat

grey cat Sushi

Photo by Marisa

                 and Jezebel, a 100% pug.

pug dog Jezebel

photo by Marisa

Sushi lives in the same house as Jezebel.


cat wants to come in room

can I come in?
photo by Marisa





Sushi wants to know if Jez minds if she comes in









dog wonders let cat in?

Jez and Sushi
photo by Marisa











Jezebel ponders.


cat and dog same house

Jez and Sushi hang out photo by Marisa


Jez and Sushi chilling’ together.

Marisa says Jezebel is the sweetest, but she’s her mom, so of course she thinks that, but Marisa also says Sushi is very sweet too.

cat and pug together

Meet Sushi and Jezebel
photo by Marisa






So yes, cats and dogs can coexist, happily.

cat comforts veterans

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Tom the cat comforts veterans

This is a bittersweet story.
Meet Tom. He lives at the VA Hospital in Salem, Virginia.  His job is to comfort patients, often visiting terminally ill veterans. Apparently, he’s very good at it.

Tom the cat at vet hospital


story originally by Tom Cramer, VA Staff Writer, November, 2014

     Laura Hart, a physician assistant who works on the hospice unit at the Salem VA Medical Center, said “Tom has known what to do since the first day he was here. I think there’s a little person inside him.”
Hart said family members visiting a dying Veteran do a lot of watching and waiting, so it can be a welcome diversion when a cat wanders in to visit or simply take a snooze.  “Having a cat in the room will take your mind off what’s going on. He’ll do something silly – he’ll jump in the air or something and everyone will laugh. It breaks the tension.” She has also noticed that “When the family leaves for the day and the cat’s still on the Veteran’s bed, it gives them some comfort,” Hart explained. “They don’t feel so bad about leaving. They’re sort of like, ‘OK, Tom’s here. It’s OK if I leave now.’ It makes them feel better.”

Edwin Gehlert and VA cat

Tom with Edwin Gehlert.

Surrounded by his family, World War II Veteran Edwin Gehlert lay quietly dying in a VA hospice unit in Salem, Virginia.
He took a few final, shallow breaths.
At that moment, Tom jumped onto his bed, curled up beside him and placed a furry orange paw in the Army Veteran’s open hand.
“That cat took him right to heaven,” said Elizabeth Gehlert, the Veteran’s wife of 68 years. “It was a beautiful passing and that cat is the one who made it happen.”
Vet’s daughter, Pamela Thompson, described the orange tabby as her lifeline “I kept telling daddy to let go, to go towards the light,” she said. “When Tom put his paw in daddy’s hand, it was like God was telling me he had ahold of my dad and that everything was OK. That’s how I felt. I felt a peace come over me.”

cat comforts dying veteran

Tom comforts dying veteran

“He seems to know who he needs to spend time with.” said Ms.Hart. “Tom will sometimes spend hours with a dying Veteran, but then disappears for a time after the Veteran has finally passed. Afterwards he kind of goes into hibernation for hours,” she said. “He finds some corner and goes to sleep. I guess he’s just recharging.”
Not everyone on the hospice unit is a cat lover, however.
“We’ve had a few patients who’ve said, ‘I don’t want that cat in my room,’” Hart observed. “When that happens, we put a sign outside their door that says,

No Cat Zone.’

But of course, that’s the room Tom wants to go into all the time. He’s like, ‘I need to be in there. I’ll change their mind.’”cat at VA hospital
There’s no doubt Tom regards the entire hospice unit as his personal domain.
“He’s interested in everything that goes on here,” Hart said. “He even comes to our team meetings, which we have twice a week. Sometimes the door to the meeting room will be shut, and we’ll hear Tom scratching at the door. He’ll scratch until we let him in.”
Dorothy Rizzo, palliative care coordinator on the hospice unit, described Tom as a much-needed normalizing factor in an otherwise somber environment. “There’s something about the presence of an animal that has a calming effect,” she said. “Watching the cat or petting him takes you out of the sad moment you’re in. Animals, like babies, are life-affirming in a way. “It’s not that Tom’s an especially cuddly cat,” she added. “He’s not into cuddling, but he’ll curl up right beside you.”

Vet and cat napping

Salem VA Medical Center
Tom and vet napping

Tom holds no grudges against staff or family members who are simply not ‘cat’ people. He’ll never fail to use his special talents to assist you in your time of need, even if you don’t like him all that much.
“We had a Veteran here whose daughter did not like cats,” Rizzo said, “so when Tom came into the room she’d ignore him or shoo him away. One night she was here with her dad and stepped out of his room for a few minutes to take a break. Tom went out there after her, wrapped himself around her legs and meowed at her. That made her think she should maybe go back to her dad’s room and check on him, which she did just in time. Her father died moments later.”

Air Force Veteran Skip Wyman, who has been on the hospice unit for several weeks, eagerly looks forward to his daily visit from Tom.
“He was in my room yesterday for about two hours,” he beamed. “Then he walked out. I don’t know where he went. I haven’t seen him this morning yet. He’s around here somewhere.”

Dying vet with cat

Tom and his friend, Air Force Veteran Erwin ‘Skip’ Wyman, share a quiet moment together. PHOTO BY LAURA HART, SALEM VA

Wyman said Tom reminds him of a feline buddy he once hung around with.
“I call him Knothead because he reminds me of a cat I had when I was a younger man,” said the 79-year-old. “He’s the perfect picture of Knothead. They look just alike. And Knothead would sleep on my bed with me, just like Tom.”
One evening, after spending some time sleeping on Wyman’s bed, Tom abruptly jumped to the floor and headed for the door – he clearly had business to attend to elsewhere on the unit.
Wyman called after him. “I said, ‘Tom, are you going to bed?’ And he just kept walking out the door. So then I said, ‘Knothead, are you going to bed?’ And darned if that cat didn’t stop and just look at me.”
“He hasn’t been here to see me today yet,” he added. “I’m going to get the nurse to go look for him.”
Betty Gillespie, a psychologist who works on the hospice unit, said family members seem to need Tom more than the Veterans who are dying. “A lot of these Veterans are very stoic,” she observed. “These are men who fought in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. But the families often feel helpless,” she continued. “You’re watching your loved one die and you know you can’t save them. Sometimes you can’t even talk to them, or wake them up. All you can do is watch and wait. But Tom provides you with some comfort; he’s something for you to focus on. Because when a tabby cat casually walks into the room, it sends a message that everything is OK, everything is as it should be. Tom’s like a good piece of music,” she added. “He instantly connects with everyone in the room.”

keep up the good work, Tom.

Cat TV song

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Joff Wilson performs Cat TV song

Cats do like TV, however, they’re very selective. Recently in New York City, Joff Wilson was giving Steve a guitar lesson, and somehow cat TV came up. Steve explained what cat TV is according to observations by My Kitty Care, then Joff spontaneously burst into “Cat TV” Steve joined in strumming – and that’s how Joff Wilson’s cat tv song happened.
so here’s the cat tv song, a catchy kitty tune inspired by cat tv and improvised by Joff.

“Cat TV” played by Joff and Steve: “Cat TV” on My Kitty Care youtube channel.


cat watching cat TV - cat tv song

cat watching Cat TV                                                                                                                                     photo by shari smith dunaif ©2016






new Beatrix Potter Kitty-in-Boots tale

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new Kitty-in-Boots tale

Beatrix Potter’s unpublished manuscript was found two years ago by Jo Hanks, who works for the publishing company Penguin Random House, (Children’s department) London. The manuscript is a new Beatrix Potter Kitty-in-Boots tale.
Ms Hanks came across the story of Kitty-in-Boots by chance in 2013 after reading an out-of-print biography of Potter (which may have been Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, by Linda Lear). It mentioned a letter Ms. Potter sent to her publisher in 1914, in which she described Kitty-in-Boots adventures, a tale about a “well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life” as a crime-fighter.

Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter

Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter

But the story was put aside because of various interruptions: the outbreak of World War I; her marriage; illness and a growing interest in farming — which resulted in an unfinished book.

Ms Hunt checked the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and found three unedited manuscripts of the story, two in children’s school notebooks and one typed, along with a rough sketch of Kitty-in-Boots and the villainous fox Mr Tod. The tale includes Peter Rabbit, one of Potter’s most famous characters, and another Potter favourite, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
“The tale really is the best of Beatrix Potter. It has double identities, colourful villains and a number of favourite characters from other tales – most excitingly, Peter Rabbit makes an appearance, albeit older, slower and portlier,” Ms Hanks told The Bookseller.

this is what kitty-in-boots looks like

this is what kitty-in-boots looks like

The Illustrations by Sir Quentin Blake. He was chosen because “he understands the rebelliousness of animal characters and doesn’t patronise children, which was one of Potter’s bugbears”, Ms Hunt said. Sir Blake also illustrated Roald Dahl’s children’s books.

Helen Mirren, British actress

Helen Mirren, British actress

The voice in the audiobook version by Dame Helen Mirren, her first audiobook recording. Scheduled release is September, 2016. The book publisher is Frederick Warne & Co, Potter’s original publisher (part of Penguin Random House Children’s). Expected release also in September, 2016. Both coincide with Beatrix’s Potter 150th anniversary of the year of her birth.

younger portrait Beatrix Potter
Born: July 28, 1866, Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died: December 22, 1943, Near and Far Sawrey, United Kingdom



animal shelter nurse kitty

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Polish animal shelter nurse kitty

All animal shelters need all kinds of help, but how does a cat help an animal shelter? Meet Radamenes, the animal shelter nurse kitty.

When Radamenes, was brought to the animal shelter in Bydgoszcz, Poland, he had such a serious respiratory infection, the people who rescued him and brought him to the shelter didn’t expect him to survive.

Radamenes nurse kitty

Radamenes the nurse kitty

But when the vets heard him purr, they decided to save him

Vet with Radamenes the nurse kitty
When Radamenes miraculously got better, they were surprised to see him start hugging and cleaning other animals

kitty nurse at Polish animal shelter

Radamenes nursing at animal shelter

nursing cat at shelter

nurse cat could mores animal

He is especially attentive with animals that have had serious operationsnurse kitty with sick dog

The vets at the shelter jokingly say Radamenes is a full-time nurse, but to the rest of us cat lovers, he’s a special nurse kitty.

thanks Josie, Australia

cat converts husband – who doesn’t like cats

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cat converts husband – who doesn’t like cats!

Janna and Bruce live in Idaho. She’s a pilot and he’s a photographer. They have a sweet dog, Booger, who Bruce tolerates. Janna, however, loves animals. She grew up with animals, including chickens, and always wanted chickens of her own. She now has four. Harvey (a female chicken) is gleefully perched upon Janna’s head.

woman with chicken on her head

Janna and her chicken, Harvey
photo by Bruce Greenhalgh

Her Husband Bruce has many interests, but animals aren’t one of them. Until Soda came along. Six months ago, Soda found Janna and Bruce. Janna was pleased, Bruce, not so much. In fact, he wanted “that cat outta the house!” It didn’t take long before Janna noticed Bruce giving Soda a pet, or a treat.

kitty converts husband

Soda – who could resist this cutie?
photo by Janna

Now, Soda, Janna and Bruce, and their dog Booger, all live happily under one roof.

husband with cat

Bruce with Soda
photo by Janna

Bruce won’t say he’s added interest in cats, yet, while he’s petting Soda.

cat plays piano with orchestra

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cat plays piano with orchestra…?

OK, everybody knows how smart cats are (sometimes) and curious (often), entertaining and MUSICAL? cat plays piano with orchestra proves that cats are even more talented than we already give them credit for. Mindaugas Piecaitis is the composer and director of Catcerto

CATcerto is the a project created by Lithuanian conductor, composer and artist Mindaugas Piecaitis. The world premiere was first performed on 5th June, 2009 by the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra in Klaipeda’s Concert Hall (Lithuania). It gained recognition in international media: BBC, Lithuanian TV, Baltic TV and the First Baltic Chanel (russian).

Watch Nora the piano cat, as cat plays piano with orchestra to see just how talented Nora is…

and give a round of apaws to our maestro cat, Nora the piano cat…
Hey, what do you expect –
Thanks Brian, music teacher