Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: Under the Glass

Luna under the glass

We’re in the midst of a heatwave in San Francisco, and CatSynth HQ gets exceptionally warm on these days. It’s on warm sunny days like this that Luna is especially of fond of napping underneath glass tables.

It’s been nice featuring Luna three times in the past week on the blog, but hopefully I will have some time for other posts as well, including getting through the backlog of music and art reviews from the past month or so.

Carnival of the Cats will be coming to Pet’s Garden Blog this Sunday.

Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: The camera that you have

It’s always about the camera that one has on hand, especially with cat portraits that are in the moment. When Luna jumped on my lap for some affection the other day, the only camera I had was the iPad.

Luna on lap - iPad Photo

It is lower resolution and optics compared to the iPhone or my DSLR, but pointed correctly it still captures Luna’s features and essence.

This morning, I happened to have the DSLR on hand, and Luna was quite well posed. So it was time for an impromptu photo shoot.

Luna closeup portrait

The photos were a good reminder of what the good camera and lenses can do and the “iThingies” cannot. Here, one can control the optics to get a particularly rich and detailed portrait. Of course, it helps that Luna cooperated by staying relatively still, only moving her head into different poses like a professional model.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up this Sunday at Life from a Cat’s Perspective.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: Gotcha Day Report

As regular readers know, last Monday, June 10, was Luna’s Gotcha Day. Thanks to everyone who sent her warm wishes. She certainly enjoyed her day.


We also made a special dinner that we could share together. These fish cakes, from the book Meow Chow are both quite delicious and safe for cats:


Luna was quite excited by the aroma of the fish cooking. And then it was time for her to enjoy her share:


The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this Sunday by Nikita and Elvira at The Opinionated Pussycat.

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Luna and the Blue Fish

Luna still loves her blue fish toy. She carries it around like a teddy bear and cuddles with it. Here is a short video of her play with it – stick around for the end to hear her voice.

If your cat has a favorite toy like, we’d love to hear about it.

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

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: Modular Synth

Luna and modular synth

Luna sits down to relax near the modular synth. The purple Monorocket case is completely packed with modules and a mess of wires that are the result of improvised patching. Fortunately, Luna seems to show no interest in the wires, but is more focused on her toys, such as the blue fish (one of her favorites).

The modular is currently set up in the living room for practicing ahead of my duo performance tomorrow night with David Samas. Apropos of Weekend Cat Blogging, the theme of the performance is leopard print. You can see a video of our past performance below and read more about it in this post.

Amar Chaudhary and David Samas at Turquoise Yantra Grotto, April 5, 2013 from CatSynth on Vimeo.

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

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator. Our modular synth contains modulators 馃檪

Weekend Cat Blogging with Luna: Reading the Paper

A typical weekend morning features coffee, the newspaper, and Luna. Here is what it often looks like from my perspective.

Luna looks for attention while the author reads the newspaper

Luna with New York Times (iPad)

I don’t think Luna cares in particular about Senators McCain and Rubio, but she does like attention, especially when I am nearby but not paying attention to her. (One could probably say the same thing about the politicians featured in the news.)

I have also grown quite accustomed to reading my newspaper on the iPad. A sign of the times.

The Carnival of the Cats will be up this Sunday at the Tuxedo Gang Hideout

And the Friday Ark is at the modulator.

Weekend Cat Blogging: The Cat Museum of San Francisco

Those who follow our Facebook page are often treated to pictures of noted individuals with cats on their birthdays, courtesy of the Cat Museum of San Francisco. (And if you don’t follow us on Facebook, this is one more reason that you should!) It turns out that the Cat Museum of San Francisco does exist in the real world as well as online. While they don’t have a permanent “museum” space, they do have pop-up exhibits from time to time. I had the opportunity to see one of these at Sunday Streets in the Mission back in April.

Cat Museum of San Francisco

The exhibit featured numerous cat-related prints in a variety of styles. It was veritable catnip for someone who loves both art and cats.

French poster with cats

photographic prints of cats

japanese ink drawings of cats

The Cat Museum of San Francisco “is dedicated to exploring the relationship between people and their feline friends.” According to their website:

We are a brand new 501(c)(3) non profit organization established in the Fall of 2010. Our goal is to create a facility here in San Francisco where we can collect, exhibit and interpret objects, related to the Cat.

Visit www.catmuseumsf.org for more information and online exhibits. We at CatSynth certainly hope this project continues to grow.

Weekend Cat Blogging and Photo Hunt: Lazy Cat?

For this week’s Photo Hunt theme of lazy, we have a photo of Luna napping in an extraordinary sun patch.

Luna being a Lazy Cat in the Sun.

While Luna may be able to enjoy a lazy time this weekend, I do not have that luxury. Both today and tomorrow are filled with band rehearsals – three rehearsals for two bands, including preparation for an album release next week – plus stops at an art exhibition and a cat video festival in Oakland tonight. Yes, a cat video festival. There are all of course rewarding experiences and I freely chose to commit to them, so I’m not complaining. But I do sometimes think there is wisdom in the path of the “lazy cat.”

I did hesitate to write this post because of the pejorative use of “lazy” to describe cats. It’s not uncommon to hear cats’ propensity for napping described this way, and I read frequent unfair comparisons to dogs. But domestic cats fill the roles they were bred for, and do so quite well. There are working cats, on farms, in wine cellars, and even at one of our neighborhood arts institutions, SOMArts. The role of the house cat is to provide companionship, an important social and emotional function. Luna does this spectacularly, as do many of the other cats I have met though blogs. And it not a role without risks, as companion animals are especially vulnerable to abuse (sadly, so are humans in domestic situations). So let us honor the “lazy cats” and maybe learn something from them about being in the moment.

The Saturday Photo Hunt is up. This week’s theme is lazy.

The Carnival of the Cats will be hosted this Sunday by the Florida Furkids.

And the Friday Ark is on hiatus this week, but will be back on May 17.

Weekend Cat Blogging: Wild Cats on Earth Day

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

Through the work of the International Society for Endangered Cats and their active Facebook page, we continue to be surprised by the diversity and beauty of the small wildcats, even while observing their similarities to our domestic companions. The bridge between the domestic and the wild is part of what makes these cats so endearing.


We start this year with the Scottish wildcat. A population of European wildcats was found in Scotland in 2012. They are critically endangered, numbering less than 100 according to the Scottish Wildcat Association.

[By Peter Trimming (Scottish wildcatsUploaded by Mariomassone) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

Without immediate help, this subspecies – the last cat native to Britian – could go extinct this year! You can follow efforts to save the Scottish wildcat via the Scottish Wildcat Association and Highland Tiger.

The Asiatic Golden Cat lives in the tropical forests of southeast Asia. They are a bit bigger and more muscularly built than domestic cats.

[By Karen Stout (originally posted to Flickr as Asian Golden cat) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

They are considered “Near Threatened” or “Vulnerable” on the IUCN scale, largely because of deforestation and hunting. Sadly, there is a thriving illegal trade in their fur, bones and meat, and they are also considered a threat to livestock, which makes them vulnerable to being killed in reprisals.

The Caracal is quite distinctive in its appearance, with its large ear tufts. They are found widely throughout Africa and the Middle East.


[By Kristian Thy from Copenhagen, Denmark (Caracal kitten) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

Although not considered endangered, they are often persecuted for threatening livestock. Especially in southern Africa, caracal killings by farmers and ranchers has become all too common.

A perennial favorite of ours, the Black-footed Cat is among the smallest of wildcat species. ISEC is continuing their Black-footed Cat Project in South Africa in order to better understand this species.

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

Another group we follow, the The Felidae Conservation Fund, sponsors projects here in the Bay Area and around the world, including an effort to study Arabian Leopard.

[By 注诪讜住 讞讻诪讜谉 (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons[]

The Arabian Leopard, which is found in various parts of the Arabian peninsula, is the smallest leopard subspecies and is considered critically endangered.

And of course, we have our own wildcats close to home. Bobcats can be found here in the Bay Area and throughout California.

[By Don DeBold from San Jose, CA, USA (Calero Creek Trail Bobcat) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

The main threats to these cats are loss of habitat and fragmentation, especially in our larger more urbanized areas. Bobcats are also hunted for fur and sport (it is still legal in California).

Please visit the sites mentioned in this article to find out more about wildcats and wildcat conservation, and to support their efforts.