Weekend Cat Blogging: Modernist Sunshine

Luna always loves the patches of sunshine that pour into CatSynth HQ in the morning. On this particular morning we see her posing regally in an Art-Deco-patterned sunshine spot. The shadow is cast by the table just behind her, a piece that dates back to my graduate-student days in Berkeley but still fits the overall style of our current pad in the city.

On a sad note, we learned that our friend and fellow cat-blogger has passed away. We send her family our thoughts.

Weekend Cat Blogging is hosted by Bengal Business.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up tomorrow at Mind of Mog

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Artsy Luna Photos

Since Thursday, we at CatSynth have been once again on art-and-music overload. We stopped at two of three large art fairs happening in San Francisco; attended a fundraiser for 826 Valencia at which a friend was reading; and today it’s back in the studio for more recording with Reconnaissance Fly. So on that note, here are some rather artsy photos of Luna:

These are among the more stylized configurations I now have in the Hipstamatic iPhone app. The latter is the same combo I used in the most recent Wordless Wednesday photo.

The one downside of such busy weekends is not having a lot of time to spend with Luna.

Weekend Cat Blogging is hosted by Pam at Sidewalk Shoes.

The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this Sunday by our friends Nikita and Elivra at Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Back on the Patio

As summer weather comes to San Francisco, we at CatSynth venture out onto our patio.

The patio took quite a pounding this past season. During one particularly bad storm with high winds and heavy rain, that plant on the left side of the photo came crashing down from the sky, destroying a screen and one of those nice modernist black benches :(. Fortunately, everything can be cleaned up or replaced. And the sculptures were not damaged.

Luna ventures out onto the patio:

Of course, she goes right for the grass in that pot that fell fromt the sky.

I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be brown, as many decorative grasses are. But I don’t know that it’s safe for cats, so I tried to discourage Luna from chewing on this. It’s not easy, as she particularly loves found grass.

Weekend Cat Blogging, Mothers’ Day Edition, is at Mind of Mog.

The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this Sunday by Kashim, Othello and Salome.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Luna and Luna

In honor of the full moon last night (dubbed the “supermoon” in the media), we present Luna along with her namesake.

I always thought the name suited her well.

Photographing the moon is even harder than photographing cats. But I did also create this highly stylized image of the full moon with traffic from nearby Interstate 280 as it descends into downtown San Francisco.

Weekend Cat Blogging is hosted by Samantha, Clementine and Maverick.

The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted today by Ritzi at iInfidel.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt: Texture

We at CatSynth have been absent for a few days. Most of my time that wasn’t spent at the day job was devoted to preparations for last night’s Night Light Multimedia Garden Party at SOMArts here in San Francisco. All the work paid off and the show went quite well, and I will be talking about that in a later article. But the combined silent-video-and-live-improvised-music piece featured several clips of Luna, including this one that is perfect for a combined Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt with theme texture.

This is a fun clip that combines cats, abstract digital imagery, and even highways with our I-80 sign in the background. You can see the short segment that appeared in the video below:

Luna black cat I-80 texture from CatSynth on Vimeo.

A sad note this week, our friend Meowza passed away suddenly last week. It was unexpected when we read of his passing in the comments for our Carnival of the Cats last week, he was so full of life. We remember him through the many images of him rolling around in the dry Arizona dirt:

We send our thoughts to Mog and all of Meowza’s family on their loss.

Weekend Cat Blogging is hosted by…no one this week. In fact, it looks like this week was completely left off the schedule, which resumes with edition 360 next weekend. But Elivra has stepped in to combine WCB 359 1/2 with Carnival of the Cats.

The Weekly Photo Hunt is up with the theme of Texture.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up tomorrow at Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Wild Cats on Earth Day

Every year on or around Earth Day, we at CatSynth dedicate our Weekend Cat Blogging post to the endangered wild cats of the world.

There are 37 known species of cats, including the domestic cats. As those of us who share our lives with domestic cats know, they share a lot in common with their wild cousins, especially the closest wild species Felis Silvestris, otherwise known as the “wild cat.” Indeed, domestic cats are considered likely descendants of the African and Middle Eastern subspecies of the wild cat.

Beyond the similarities, however, there is quite a bit of diversity among the species of small wild cats in terms of size, appearance and behavior. We have following the work of the International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada over the past year, which has given us the opportunity to learn more about many of these cats and the efforts to protect them. Among ISEC Canada’s sponsored projects is the study of the Black-Footed Cat, which is found in southern Africa and is among the smallest of wild cat species.

[Image courtesy of ISEC Canada.]

The Black-Footed Cat is considered vulnerable, with an estimated population of about 10,000. They have been among the lesser studied cats, so this current project will help us understand them and the threats they face better.

ISEC Canada is also sponsoring a project in Argentina. Here they study the Geoffroy’s Cat.

[Photo by Mr. Guilt, courtesy of ISEC Canada]

Although considered to be relatively widespread in open areas of South America, little is known about them. This project has helped researches learn about the Geoffroy’s Cat, and also the rarer Pampas Cat.

[Photo © GECM-UNS, courtesy of ISEC Canada]

This and several other great photos of felids of the Argentine Espinal can be found here.

Over the past year, I have also become acquainted with another species, the Pallas’ Cat.

Pallas’ cats are native to the high-altitude grasslands of Central Asia including Mongolia, western China, and parts of Russia and Afghanistan. Though this particular cat resides in the Prospect Park Zoo in Brookyln. You can read about my encounter with the Pallas’ cat in this article.

Pallas’ cats are about the same size as domestic cats, but have quite a different appearance suited to their habitat. Another very distinctive looking cat is the Caracal, with its black ear tufts.

[Photography via Wikimedia Commons.]

Caracals have a large range over much of Africa and the Middle East, though they are not often seen. They are not considered endangered, though their populations are smaller in North Africa than in the south.

Another organization that works to preserve wild cats and educate the public about them is the Felidae Conservation Fund. They are based here in northern California, and one of their main projects is studying our local puma population. They are also involved in other projects, such as studying the Andean Cat and the Fishing Cat.

[Photo by Ben Williams, courtesy of ISEC Canada.]

The fishing cat is quite photogenic, as can be seen in the above photo by a member and supporter of ISEC Canada. (Click here to see more images.) Fishing cats are found in Southeast Asia, and are uniquely adapted to catching fish. They even have webbed front paws. Visit Fishing Cat Project (supported by the Felidae Fund) to find out more about their conservation.

We conclude with another cat species that we have not featured in previous posts, the Rusty Spotted Cat.

[By UrLunkwill (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0-de], via Wikimedia Commons]

The rusty spotted cat is among the smallest of cat species. They live in southern India and Sri Lanka and appear to be at home in a wide range of habitats, from humid forests to open grasslands, and even in abandoned houses in densely populated parts of India. You can read more about them here.

There is always more to say about the magnificent cats of the world than we can fit in one article. Please visit our previous wild-cat articles for more. And please also visit ISEC Canada, the Felidae Conservation Fund, and the many other organizations working to conserve endangered wildlife.

Carnival of the Cats (and Weekend Cat Blogging)

We at CatSynth are happy to be hosting today’s edition of Carnival of the Cats, a weekly roundup of feline-themed posts from around the blogosphere.  We are also stepping in to host Weekend Cat Blogging.  If you would like to participate in either event, please use the handy carnival submission form or leave us a comment below.  We will be updating the post during Sunday.

In the meantime, we encourage everyone to visit our special Wild Cats on Earth Day post. It’s an annual tradition at CatSynth, with photographs and information about several wild cat species and links to organizations that support wild cat conservation.

Next up, Lost In the Cheese Aisle presents Bernadette as a great traveling companion. It sounds like she is quite well behaved during long trips, and this picture of her on the dashboard is quite cute.

Good news from our friends at Animal Shelter Volunteer. Ringo, Claire and several other cats have been adopted and are going to their forever homes. It’s always great to here stories of cats finding loving homes. Claire in particular has been waiting a long time. She is pictured above.

Animal Shelter Volunteer reports from PAWS, a no-kill shelter in Connecticut. Our friends Nikita and Elvira present a special report on the no-kill animal shelter revolution. Many shelters, like PAWS and like our own municipal animal services here in San Francisco already operate no-kill shelters, but the article describes an effort to reform the country’s animal-shelter system to make no-kill the rule. We support them in this effort.

On the lighter side, Elvira and Nikita also received some great new toys this week. They were purchased from a local independent store operated by a fellow cat-blogger, and as one can see the cats love them.

Cokie the Cat presents A Cat’s Last Will and Testament, dedicated to his friend Petie who recently past away. It is a very touching post, and a reminder about the joys of sharing life with animal companions.

At Mind of Mog, Meowza is enjoying some time outside, safely away from a visiting child. (I’m sure Luna would want to do the same in that situation.) It always looks like fun outside there, thought it sounds like it’s quite hot there this weekend, over 100F, so we hope Meowza stays cool.

We continue with some WCB participants. It’s turning out to be a lovely spring in Alabama, but this stark blank-and-white photo of Jules amidst the bare trees last winter is quite stunning. The high contrast and silhouette appeals to our photography aesthetic here at CatSynth.

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes presents the neighbors kitty, a lovely dark-fur cat who has “adopted” the people in his neighborhood while his original human wasn’t able to care for him. He is now able to go back home, which is good news but also a little sad for those who will miss him

Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt: Sturdy

We return to a combined Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt this Saturday on the theme Sturdy. Here we see Luna passing by some of the sturdy support columns that hold up CatSynth HQ.

The wooden beams are quite thick, and fastened with multiple bolts and metal junctions both on the top and bottom.

The diagonal beam adds addition sturdiness, especially in the event of a seismic event. But the strength also has a modernist aesthetic quality that fits the overall style of our space.

Weekend Cat Blogging #356 will be hosted by Kashim, Othello and Salome at PaulChens FoodBlog?!.

The Saturday Photohunt theme is Sturdy.

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

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt: Awesome and Passover

The theme for our combined Weekend Cat Blogging and Saturday Photohunt is Awesome. Here we see Luna looking down upon us all from her awesome balcony perch.

Cats of course like high places and are fiercely territorial. Luna is no exception, so she enjoys the many high perches we have at CatSynth HQ. And as a shy cat, it gives her a way to observe guests without having to get closer, unless she chooses to do so.

Passover began last night at sundown. This is the holiday where we at CatSynth attempt but ultimately fail to follow the strict dietary rules for eight days. But what about cats? According to this website, several brands have varieties that are approved for Passover in 2012. One of our brands is on the list, though not the particular variety that I get for Luna.

Weekend Cat Blogging and the Carnival of the Cats are both hosted this week by Meowza at Mind of Mog.

The theme of this week’s Saturday Photo Hunt is Awesome.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator

Weekend Cat Blogging: Rainy Saturday (Hipstamatic and Instagram)

It’s a miserable rainy and windy Saturday here in San Francisco. Perfect weather for turning inward, and curling up for naps.

I took a couple of photos of Luna sleeping with Hipstamatic and Instagram. Which one is which?

For those who use Instagram, we can be found there at “catsynth”.

On a non-cat related note, I encourage visitors to check out our Reconnaissance Fly album demo, with three free tracks.

Weekend Cat Blogging #356 is hosted this weekend by Smudge, Coco and Patchouli at Pam’s Sidewalk Shoes.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up this Sunday at Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.