Things have been quite sad in the internet of world cats as it mourns the recent death of one of its musical celebrities.
Bento, who is famously known as YouTube’s Keyboard Cat, passed away on March 9. His owner, Charlie Schmidt, said the cause of death was cancer. Across the web, celebrities are giving tributes in Bento’s memory, from Jimmy Kimmel to Grumpy Cat.
We here at SoPurrfect are also offering our condolences. It is thanks to the influence of Keyboard Cat and other internet feline sensations that we get to spread the love and joy of being a cat owner.
It should be known that Bento was actually the successor of Fatso, the legendary and original Keyboard Cat. The first viral video was from a very old clip that Schmidt had back in 1984 and only uploaded it during the earliest days of YouTube around 2009. Fatso had long died in 1987 and he adopted Bento because he resembled her so much.
Because of the original clip’s popularity, however, Bento quickly managed to carry Fatso’s torch and became an online music sensation in his own right. Even today, his videos garner thousands of views while remixes of the Keyboard Cat tune are used in meme videos and quirky electronic ensembles all over the internet.
He’s also gone on to star in a commercial, released a line of merchandise (including toys) and even had a comedic run for 2012 Presidential Elections. Lastly, Schmidt and Bento both served as strong adoption advocates and joined the voices of others calling to have more cats adopted from shelters.
As we commemorate the life of this YouTube icon, let us also take a moment to be amazed at how phenomenal cats have been for the internet. Bento and others like him have warmed our hearts and inspired many owners to create loads of entertaining content with their feline friends.
In fact, if you have a mind to give your cat his or her own shot at online fame, here’s a couple of very quick tips.
#1. Create a separate social media account for your cat.
If there is one thing that all of the web’s famous cats have in common is that they have their own social media accounts separate from their owners. Not only does this establish a sort of personal brand for your cat, it is also a good way to keep people from assuming your cat hasn’t taken over your own online identity!
#2. Network with other cat owners online.
Don’t hesitate to join other cat lovers in online groups. Not only are they a great resource for tips and tricks, you can share ideas on what type engaging content you can create. They are also a good place to find fellow content collaborators. Bento’s owner has done similar things and networked with other owners via cat conventions.
Without a doubt, Bento will be sorely missed but his memory will live on as cats continue to dominate the internet with their cuteness and their charms. Let us all keep doing our best to give them the love and praise they deserve as our companions and nurture the next generation of furry, viral sensations.
For some cat owners, there is one other reason why picking up and cuddling cats feels so wonderful. It is a feeling of pride. It is a feeling of empowerment. It is a feeling of conquest.
It is feeling like a super villain!
It is very hard to deny the appeal of a calm and collected mastermind as he strokes his beloved, cat companion. Whether it is the Godfather Vito Corleone or James Bond’s #1 nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, villains make a fine art out of stroking cats.
Fortunately, you do not really have to plan global domination to be as skillful as them. Here are five steps you can take to keep your cat content and comfortable in your own arms.
#1. Assess your cat’s trust in you.
If a cat is still getting accustomed to you as its owner, picking it up is not advised until it has developed a good amount of trust in your care. And even if it already has, always pay attention to how long it wants to be in your arms. Some cats have more independent personalities than others and wouldn’t want to stay held up too long. (That is, unless you give them good reason to.)
#2. Read its mood.
Just because a cat trusts you doesn’t mean you can pick it up more carelessly. Always check for signs of agitation and avoid touching it altogether if it looks like it is in a really bad mood. Be patient and do what you can to improve its demeanor. If villains themselves require appeasement, their feline friend demands no less!
#3. Remember your cat’s sweet spots.
All cats share a common set of areas that make them feel really good when stroked. These include the usual spots like the back of the ears, the chin and the base of the tail. Stroking these correctly can be a good way to keep a kitty content in your arms and less likely to squirm out of them.
#4. Determine a signature posture.
This goes both for you and your cat. Start by knowing the basics of holding it (such as supporting its bottom and hind legs). Patiently figure out when your cat is feeling most comfortable in your arms and adjust your posture accordingly. Sometimes it can be when you are sitting or when you are standing up right. Either way, it can feel really classy when you do it correctly.
#5. Let it know that you still have its attention.
Cats are naturally demanding and will obviously dislike it if they can no longer sense your attention when you are cuddling them. Occasionally make eye contact and know what part of its body you are rubbing at all times. Much like classic villains, it is crucial to avoid carelessness at all costs.
Lastly, remember that a cat is not a mere accessory. Ever notice that a villain’s cat is possibly the only thing they would never harm? You could say that they too acknowledge a cat as a living creature. It deserves to be treated as a faithful companion and your highest ranked accomplice!
A lot of people love cats no matter how messy or moody they can get. Most don’t mind because they simply adore their feline friends and they’re willing to accept the good and bad that’s hidden beneath their pretty furs. However, it wouldn’t hurt to know more about them.
There are some truly interesting facts that most of us don’t know about and we are truly missing out on all the fun. It’s best that we know more about our furry pals because this would let us understand them better. With that being said, here are some interesting facts about cats.
Number of Toes
You may, or may not, have noticed this, but cats have a different number of toes on their front and back paws. The front paws have five toes, while the back has four. However, there are polydactyl cats, which are cats who have extra toes on both of their paws.
Cats Don’t Have a Sweet Tooth
Cats have pretty much the same taste buds as ours, but some of their taste receptors aren’t as reactive and one of them are for sweets. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are compelled to consume meat. Since they’re inherently meat eaters, cats have no need for sweets and are unable to enjoy the sugary delights of cupcakes and other treats.
Years and Years of Bonding
You ever get that feeling that you’ve known your cat for a long time? The kind of feeling that you’ve somehow bonded years before? If you do, then it’s probably due to the fact that we have associated ourselves with cats for nearly 10,000 years now. This practically makes them a part of our social group.
Natural Born Hunters
A cats physiology is specifically designed for hunting. Their flexible bodies can squeeze through tiny spaces. Their teeth are also adapted for such, none of them having grinding surfaces, a clear indication that cats clearly evolved to eat meat. They also walk in a certain way that their back paws step almost exactly in the same place where did front paws landed. This minimizes the volume of noise their steps make, as well as the visible tracks they leave.
Quick on Their Feet
We have a general idea that cats are indeed agile creatures and are pretty fast. However, we don’t exactly know “how fast” they can get. To put this into perspective, the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, runs at 27 miles per hour. Your cat can actually run faster, as they can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, easily grabbing the gold medal away from Bolt’s hands.
Although we already know that cats are indeed beautiful and amazing creatures, these facts remind us of how astonishing our purring pets are. This makes us appreciate them even more and be wowed by the fact that our usually sleepaholic companions are more than what meets the eyes. However, it’s kinda sad that they can’t taste sweet foods and that could be their kitty kryptonite.
Should you declaw your cat or sacrifice your furniture? This is a conundrum that has no doubt vexxed many a cat owner. It is not just a sign of a bad scratching habit either. The real problem is that some owners don’t always have the time to train cats against scratching nor do they always have enough money for a scratch post.
The good news is that there is a popular third way — Nail caps.
Also called soft claws or soft paws, these relatively new devices are snugly fit on your kitty’s claws with just a little bit of glue. This ensures the claws won’t cut into furniture without resorting to any drastic surgical procedure. (They give your cats a classy sense of style too!)
Knowing that though, there are still several things to keep in mind before you start shopping for this fabulous-looking alternative:
1. Check for any infection or similar ailment in the paws prior to applying.
This fairly self-explanatory as you are still applying a bit of chemical to ensure the caps stay on. Consult with your veterinarian for any possible pre-existing conditions about your cat’s claws before using them. They might even have a little additional insight on how to best apply it!
2. Nail caps can still fall off and are a bit tricky to reattach.
Ideally, these claws are meant to last about 4-6 weeks. However, it can be shorter than that for some digits. Expect for at least one or two to come off and get ready to re-apply new ones on occasion. It may be more comfortable for your cat compared to trimming but it still takes practice.
3. Take note of your cat’s claw sizes and make sure the caps match.
In case you haven’t realized it yet, they are indeed a lot like shoes. Your cat’s claws do have to fit in order to maximize their effectiveness (while also being comfortable enough for your cat to move around in). Using a proper size also reduces the chances of caps falling off. And in the long run, you are also expected to find bigger sizes as your feline grows.
4. Know that caps are meant as damage control and not behavior control.
These caps will not dissuade your cat from its habit. In fact, some might even argue that it is deeply embedded in a cat’s nature and it cannot be 100% helped. It is important remember tha the main purpose of these caps is to minimize the damage claws will do to furniture because of this habit.
5. It is still more affordable than straight out declawing.
Despite all the challenges to using nail caps, they are relatively minor if you give it enough time. The same can also be said for the price. The average cost of these caps can range anywhere between just $6.00 to $7.00 for a set of 20 pieces. In contrast, declawing is a surgical procedure that can cost hundreds. That is not even including the cost of permanently damaging a part of your cat’s body!
Overall, nail caps are indeed a nice alternative if you have not the energy to train cats against scratching but cannot afford to scratch-proof your entire household. Just make sure you know the basic facts about them before trying them on. That way, your cat will not only look fabulous but you will also feel fabulous about it!
Car rides for cats can be stressful. Imagine what it feels like to be taken away from a place you find familiar and comfortable and be transported in a big moving metal box. Car rides don’t have to feel traumatic for your cat, though. Here’s how you can train your kitty for car rides and make the overall experience relaxing and peaceful for both of you.
1. Get her in a carrier
First, you have to use her carrier to take her inside the car. It will keep you and your kitty safe from possible resistance that could happen.
2. Let her visit the inside of the car and let her mark it
Open the carrier inside the car and let her explore the car at her own pace. Don’t turn on the engine yet and definitely don’t force kitty to get out.
It will take time before she gets comfortable being inside the strange and unfamiliar vehicle. But, you have to wait until she does and eventually marks it. Then you’re done for the day.
3. Put something of hers in the car
To ease up the stress and speed up the process, put something of hers in the car overnight. When the next visit to the car comes, it will be less strange to her which can make her more relaxed compared to the first one.
4. Spend a little time with your kitty inside the car
By now your kitty has probably gotten used to the fact that a car isn’t necessarily dangerous or traumatising. Now, you start petting her (not too much) or talking to her. It helps to interact, but make sure to observe your kitty for near signs of aggression. Keep the environment relaxed and calm. Don’t put her in too long. About 5 minutes will do. And, you can do it again in the afternoon or the day after.
5. Meal time and car time
Now you top it up a notch. Try bringing your kitty in the car along with her favorite treats or catnip. The goal here is to make your kitty feel that cars aren’t about the bad stuff but also the good stuff. Food and toys are the best motivation for kitties to feel calm and relaxed. In this, your kitty will learn that happiness can be found inside the car too.
6. Take that first slow drive in the neighborhood
Now, that she feels good about getting inside the car. Try to start the engine. Initially, you’ll get a bit stressful reaction from your kitty but it’s fine. It’s part of the entire process. Don’t let the move yet. Just let the engine run for awhile and turn it off. Do this for about a week until she feels it’s normal.
After that feeding and playing, while the engine is on, it’s time to take your kitty to the neighborhood. Start with a slow speed and just show her what it’s like to be in a moving vehicle.
Now, that you have a kitty who’s interested in car rides. Next question is: where to?