SF SPCA Holiday Windows

Once again, the San Francisco SPCA has partnered with Macy’s flagship store in Union Square to feature adoptable pets. I have visited a few times during my walks around downtown SF this holiday season, and on Saturday say these playful kittens and many others.

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Besides providing an adorable respite from the usual holiday commercial overload, these windows serve to highlight the plight of adoptable pets in our communities that need homes. Indeed, all these pets are available for adoption and many do fine loving homes from people who see them in the windows. I am confident this vivacious youngster will find a home soon.

There are also adult cats in the windows for adoption, and I hope the find homes as well. Adult cats from previous homes can make great companions, especially for quieter households. (Luna was a previously homed adolescent when I adopted her.)

I did love seeing these two intertwined, especially because one looked like a very young Luna. Perhaps they will be adopted together?

It’s always fun to come see the cats in the windows and help support the cause of caring for homeless pets. If you do visit before it closes on January 4, please make a small onsite donation. You call find out more about the holiday windows program and how to support all the SF SPCA does for animals in our community via their website.

San Francisco SPCA Holiday Windows, 2013

One of our favorite holiday traditions here in San Francisco is the window display at Macy’s flagship Union Square store featuring adoptable pets from the San Francisco SPCA.

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There were quite a few kittens on display, some in windows that featured a theme of holidays in the city. Some really knew how to ham it up for the visitors, like this cutie:

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They always get a good response from the public including numerous adoptions, which is of course what this event is all about. And we at CatSynth love seeing cats finding new homes.

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You can find out more about the program at the SF SPCA’s website, including visiting hours and how to donate to help the city’s homeless pets. And if you live here or you’re visiting SF this holiday season, go downtown and see the cats in person!

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CD Review: John B, Catalyst (We Like The Music)

I'm finally getting around the first of the promised CD review series here at CatSynth. Just one of many articles waiting in a growing queue while “life happens…”

Remember the Rathergood.com chillin' kittens? Of course not. But it was a cute animation done by folks who brought us the “Viking Kittens”, featuring a jazz combo of cute kittens “chillin' out” on the beach to “We Like the Music (Latino mix)” by John B.

John B is a UK-based electronica artist, more recently known for his remixes of 80s synth pop, 80s-style spiky hair, and working alongside “cutting-edge artists” like Justin Timberlake. However, before selling out, he released several interesting “jazzier” albums between 1999 and 2001 on his Beta Recordings, including Catalyst. This album is not easy to get. The Beta Recordings sight kept giving me SQL database errors (and indeed the entire site acts a little odd in Safari and Firefox). Amazon.com does not appear to carry this release. I did manage to find one via eBay's Half.com store in July.

Catalyst is a 2-disc album featuring John B's, drum&base and “electro-funk” work from 1999, mixing either real or imaged jazz/funk phrases and recordings with electronic beats. Some are extremely fast and high-energy, others are more dreamy, trance, or chill-out music. Somewhere between the two extremes lies the track “We Like the Music.” It's lot more electronica/drum-and-bass than the Latino mix, but it has the same brass licks. I definitely like the Latino mix better used by the Rathergood.com kittens, the latin rhythms and softer feel has a lot more “character” to my ear. Unforunately that version is one the even-more-difficult-to-find Redox – Catalyst Reprocessed. I have also been unable to find it at any of the digital distribution sites. So for now, I'll probably have to stick with the kittens.

Cats in Lebanon…Germany

Who doesn't love pictures of cute kittens?


Well, these kittens are in Lebanon, being cared for by members of BETA. Like many places closer to home, it is kitten season, and their shelter is overflowing with kittens who need homes. And this is on top of the cats and other animals that BETA has rescued from the recent confrontations and senseless religious/tribal violence still happening there.

Meanwhile, in Germany, a country famous around the world for its warm and fuzzy nature, animal shelters experience a summer influx of cats for very different reasons. According the the reports accompanying these photos from Reuters, many of these cats are surrendered to shelters, or simply abandoned, during the long European summer vacation season. You can click on the photo below for a second article.

They don't have pet sitters in Germany?

Worthless Kitty Interlude: Rathergood.com chillin' kittens

From rathergood.com original home of the “Viking Kittens”, comes this cool “chill-out” kitten combo. It's actually grown on me a bit, and it's been a nice diversion playing on the iMac in my office while I toil away on a nearby PC. Yes, it's been a pretty rough couple of days…

The music is “We Like The Music (latino remix)” by John B.

Thanks to our friend jellypizza for calling this out. Not sure I quite get the Soprano's reference, but ok…

More sad news (but hope) for cats in Lebanon

As if last year wasn't enough, there is more sad news from our friends at BETA in Lebanon:

More than a week has already passed now with, at the beginning, severe clashes between the Lebanese army and some armed groups in northern Lebanon. Immediately following those deadly conflicts, car bombs and hand grenades went off in Beirut and its suburbs, and the first bomb exploded very close to one of the cat shelters in Ashrafieh area. Fortunately, the glass and walls remained intact at the shelter.

As many readers are probably aware, the Lebanese army has been involved in a confrontation with Islamic militants that have taken up residence in Palistinian refugee camps. Nobody likes them in Lebanon, even reliably militant Hezbollah leaders support the Lebanese army moving against them (and of course the Palestinians in the camps are going to suffer more because of them). The attack in Beirut near the cat shelter is either a direct response, or by someone who sympathizes with the militants. I guess it's one I have trouble understanding. These Islamic militants have no redeeming value, even for those who want the US out of Iraq and Israel out of the Palistinian territories. It makes the suffering of people and animals in their path even more tragic, and we're glad the cat shelter was spared their violence.

Another feline story with some hope amidst the current events:

[This kitten was] rescued by a CNBC reporter from one of the mostly bombed Palestinian camp in the north of Lebanon. The reporter was kind enough to pick up the dirty starving kitten. A few days later, she also found the sibling of the kitten and also brought her to us. Both kittens are now boarding at one of the BETA members home, getting lots of food, affection, warmth and care and of course playing with lots of toys.

We at CatSynth are happy that someone cared enough to rescue the kittens, who of course did nothing wrong but ended up in the middle of a useless human conflict.

I should note that the sources for this article were BETA in Lebanon, Agence France-Presse and the BBC, so don't suggest this report is some US-orchestrated media plot. (There are plenty of those to go around already.)

another cat from Lebanon

From AFP: a kitty amidst the rubble in a fishing port south of Beirut. This is essentially the type of image I see in my mind when I think about the situation, or cats in war more generally. It was part of an AFP article that Yahoo! syndicated for their main news page covering the middle east conflict today, right under the news that the Lebanese PM had rejected the cease-fire deal.

I haven't seen or received any updates from BETA or the groups in Israel since my previous article, I will certainly post anything that I receive.