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Infinite Cat Project Archives for August 6-10, 2018.

Mewsings, August 6, 2018: "If you want to be a psychological novelist and write about human beings, the best thing you can do is keep a pair of cats." - Aldous Huxley

cat paw reaching out to human

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: The Creation of Adam.

Cat Mewvie: Crop-circle kitty.


spin the bottle cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

atomic cat clock

Feline Art: "Atomic Cat Clock" by Stevetomic.

cat picture

New York Cat Fashion Show.
by Maxine Wally

It’s not just a joke from the movie “Anchorman” — there’s a real, live catfashion show and it’s held yearly at The Algonquin Hotel in New York City. On Aug. 2, a group of cats dressed in fashions by certified animal fashion designer Ada Nieves were shown off by their owners in celebration of the new in-house cat of The Algonquin, Hamlet VIII. Hamlet was born a street cat, but was rescued and brought into his newfound home this year. The place was mobbed — turnout rivaled that of some of the most in-demand New York Fashion Week parties. Photographers snapped pictures using enormous flashes, every iPhone in the house was out and taking videos, and the cats, well, they just sort of sat there and blinked.

Except one — Mango, who was dressed as Charlie Chaplin, in keeping with this year’s theme “The Purring Twenties.” When his owner reached the front desk (which had been turned into the viewing area for the cats), Mango thrashed about wildly, trying to remove his top hat and get away from the flashes. Poor guy.

Meanwhile, owner Melanie Lee, whose two cats Sake and Merlin also participated in the show, said her pets have naturally calm demeanors.

“These two absolutely love it,” she said. “I don’t teach them to be calm, they teach me that they are calm. They’ve shown me in their personalities that they are relaxed, and I listen to that. If you don’t listen to your cats’ personalities, then they’re just objects to you.”

Siobhan Moore, a breeder, had three cats showing on the runway. She said her cats are show cats, and have competed in multiple competitions around the East Coast, West Coast and in Canada.

“When I first started breeding the Persians and Himalayans, people told me, ‘Prepare for half your litter to die,’” she said, fixing the cat ears she wore on her head and dusting cat hair off of her black tank top. “And yes, these two came from a litter of six and they were the only survivors.

“There’s a little Siamese mixed in those Himmies,” she added. “Gives them an edge.”

On hand at the show was The Algonquin’s resident Reiki cat healer, Carole Wilbourn. She sat on a table, clothed in whisker-printed tights and shoes with cats on them, and explained that she comes in once every few weeks to perform Reiki treatment on Hamlet. She initially “helped Hamlet with the transition from street cat to indoor cat,” she said. Her method of Reiki involves touching Hamlet to transfer energy, petting him, and also performing what’s called distant Reiki, which involves giving Hamlet mental Reiki by putting symbols she wants to show him through her mind.

Wilbourn, who has written six books including “Cats on the Couch” and “Cats Prefer It This Way,” said she once cured a friend’s cat through distant Reiki. Her friend’s son had accidentally put their family cat in the dryer with articles of clothing, and ran the machine. The cat emerged blistered and traumatized, but Wilbourn said the cat lived through the ordeal — in part because of her Reiki treatment.

After the fashion show at The Algonquin, a silent auction was held to raise money for the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.

Mewsings, August 7, 2018: "If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering, outspoken, honest fellow-but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much." - Philip Gilbert Hamerton

kitten trapped in shoe

Gratuitous Kittiness: "I am trapped by shoe. Please call 911."

Cat Mewvie: "Tiggy says Hello", a cat-classic.


so very cute cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

faraday cat art

Feline Art: "Faraday Cat" concept art by Stas Lebedev.

Mewsings, August 8, 2018: "A sleeping cat is ever alert." - Fred Schwah

cat with chin in paw

Gratuitous Kittiness: The most zen cat ever.

Cat Mewvie: Bad-ass kitten.


cat pushes stuff comic

Today's Kitty Komic

cat and mouse with gift

Feline Art: "The Gift" by Dreama Tolle Perry.

Mewsings, August 9, 2018: "Cats are only human, they have their faults." - Kingsley Amis

cat sleeping on hand

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Whoa. What day is it?"

Cat Mewvie: I don't... think that's... kitty litter.


states of cat matter comic

Today's Kitty Komic

purple cat dream art

Feline Art: "The Purple Cat's Dream" by Cara Wong.

Mewsings, August 10, 2018: "We quickly discovered that two kittens were much more fun than one."
- Allen Lucy

kitten grabs finger

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Target acquired."

Cat Mewvie: Margot's Other Cat.


sociopath cat comic

Today's Kitty Komic

volcano cat art

Feline Art: "Volcano Cat" by Danial Ryan.

cat peeking around corner

The story of CIA cats.
by Becky Little

The most famous kitty in spy history is probably the white Persian of James Bond flicks. The image of a faceless villain stroking the cat in the early 1960s films is now a meme (see: Inspector Gadget, Austin Powers). Lesser known is the cat whom, during the same decade, the CIA attempted to turn into a spy.

“Operation Acoustic Kitty” was a secret plan to turn cats into portable spying devices. However, the CIA only ever produced one Acoustic Kitty because it abandoned the project after a test with this cat went horribly wrong.

The Acoustic Kitty was a sort of feline-android hybrid—a cyborg cat. A surgeon implanted a microphone in its ear and a radio transmitter at the base of its skull. The surgeon also wove an antenna into the cat’s fur, writes science journalist Emily Anthes in Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts.CIA operatives hoped they could train the cat to sit near foreign officials. That way, the cat could secretly transmit their private conversations to CIA operatives.

“ For its first official test, CIA staffers drove Acoustic Kitty to the park and tasked it with capturing the conversation of two men sitting on a bench,” Anthes writes. “Instead, the cat wandered into the street, where it was promptly squashed by a taxi”—not the outcome they were expecting.

“The problem was that cats are not especially trainable,” she writes. In a heavily redacted memo, the CIA concluded: “Our final examination of trained cats…convinced us that the program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs.”

Still, this does not mean the U.S. government’s days of animal-engineering were over. In 2006, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, asked scientists to create cyborg insects (yes, insects are animals).

With DARPA’s support, researchers at the University of California Berkeley successfully created a cyborg beetle whose movements they could remotely control. They reported their results in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience in October 2009.

“Berkeley scientists appear to have demonstrated an impressive degree of control over their insect’s flight; they report being able to use an implant for neural stimulation of the beetle’s brain to start, stop, and control the insect in flight,” reported Wired the month these findings came out. “They could even command turns by stimulating the basalar muscles.”

The idea of secret spy bugs may sound a little terrifying, especially for anyone who saw the robot bees episode of Black Mirror (on a related note, Walmart filed a patent for robo bees this spring). But rest assured that it’s probably still safe to have private conversations around cats. Their notoriously smug, indifferent attitudes will likely keep protecting them from CIA conscription.


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