The Happy Cat
A Quarterly Newsletter Published by
Forgotten Felines, Inc. Spring 2010
vol. 2 no. 1
The Purr*Fect Thrift Store Is
Open For Business!
Litter Pan 101
How to Keep Your Cat Happy
Our Featured Volunteer
Crime Solving Cats
Cat Furr is New Forensic Tool
For more information about Forgotten Felines, Inc. call 305-743-2520
Open For Business!
PURR FECT THRIFT STORE
Unwanted Items Helping Unwanted Cats
We are excited to announce INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING?
the grand opening of our If you would like to volunteer
PURR*FECT THRIFT STORE a few hours a week in the
located at 3850 Overseas Purr*Fect Thrift Store, please
Highway in Marathon, directly call Forgotten Felines volunteer
across from the City Park, in Sally at 305-896-0932. Training
the historic Overseas Lounge will be provided.
All items sold benefit INTERESTED IN DONATING?
Forgotten Felines, funding our If you would like to donate your
efforts to feed, medicate, spay 3580 Overseas, Marathon clean and working unwanted
and neuter abandoned cats Across from the City Park household items, tools, and
in the Middle Keys to prevent furniture, please call Sally at
their over population. Open everyday 1-4pm 305-896-0932 to schedule a
The Purrfect Thrift is volun- drop off time. All donations are
teer run so hours vary 100% tax deductible.
slightly. Be patient as we get
our schedule formalized. In INTERESTED IN SHOPPING?
the meantime, the store is Stop by the Purr*Fect Thrift
consistently open between any time you see the OPEN
1-4pm, seven days a week. sign in the window, and
Please stop in often to peruse always between 1 and 4pm.
the wonderful items for sale. Purchase proceeds benefit
Our selection updates daily. Keys area homeless cats.
What We Sell at The Purr*Fect Thrift
We DO accept and sell Small Appliances, Tools, Housewares and Furniture.
Sorry, we DO NOT accept Clothes, Childrens Items or Large Appliances.
FF: When did you join Forgotten Felines?
BS: I joined two years ago.
FF: What is your favorite volunteering activity?
BS: Feeding the cats because they are so happy
to see me.
FF: What volunteer activity would you like to learn
BS: I would love to do more volunteering in the
Purr*Fect Thrift Store.
FF: What advice do you have for new volunteers?
BS: Don’t give up. If it seems hard at times, remind
yourself that the cats need you.
FF: What is your dream for Forgotten Felines?
BS: That all cats would have loving homes and
not need our help any more.
FF: Did you always like cats?
BS: No. When I moved in with my girlfriend, her
son brought home two cats. The one cat really
loved me and through that special friendship, I
learned to appreciate cats.
FF: Thanks for your time. Keep up the great
The Broadway musical, Cats, is based on the book Old Possums Book of
Practical Cats, a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. The poems were written dur-
ing the 1930s and included by Eliot, under his assumed name “Old Pos-
sum”, in letters to his godchildren. They were collected and published in
1939 with cover illustrations by the author.
Here are the first lines from one of the poems, “The Naming of Cats”:
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first that I’m as mad as a hatter,
When I tell you a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
The Prez Says
Cat Eyes: Neighborhood Watch
by Nancy Warner, President
Sometime between the holiday season and 4. Help us. Prepare the cat for our volunteers
hurricane season comes kitten season, and that to trap by feeding it at the same place and time
sometime happens to be right now. Homeless of day for the days leading up to the trapping.
and abandoned cats that we haven’t had the Leave clean food and water in a quiet, safe spot
opportunity to trap and spay/neuter are now that the cat can find, then step away to give it
prowling neighborhoods, looking for a good space.
place to have their litters of kittens. It is during 5. Let neighbors know. Let your neighbors
kitten season that Forgotten Felines needs your know that you are helping us trap a homeless cat
help the most. We need you to be on the alert and that we need the area as quiet as possible
in your neighborhood, keeping an eye out for during the trapping session. Loud noises,
any new cats wandering around that you don’t children and dogs may scare the cat away for
recognize. Here are some basics to turn you into the night.
a grade-A neighborhood watchdog...er, cat: 6. Kittens. If you find a litter of kittens, call
1. Know the cats in your neighborhood. us immediately. Unless they are in unsafe
Talk to your neighbors about any cats you conditions, leave them alone until we get
don’t recognize and encourage them to keep there. Moving kittens away from their mother
pets indoors. We don’t want to accidently trap poses several dangers to the kittens, including
someone’s pet. malnutrition and anxiety.
2. Call us. If you see a cat that is homeless, call The most important thing you can do is
us. We will help you through the next steps. If communicate with us. We can do our job best
the cat looks fat (pregnant) do not wait to call us! when we have watchful eyes monitoring every
It is important that we trap the cat BEFORE it has neighborhood in the area to spot abandoned
its litter. It is much more difficult to trap it after. and homeless cats. You know your neighborhood
3. Keep your distance. Homeless cats get better than we do. If a new cat shows up, let us
nervous when approached by humans. Please know. With your help, we can work together to
let our volunteers make the first move. keep this kitten season mild.
Everything comes to those who wait...except a cat.
Crime Fighting Kitties
Cat Hair Could be the Next Forensic Tool
You may think of your furry feline friend simply as a companion, but look closely and you will find
that your whiskered pal also has the ability to be a crime-fighting supercat.
A team of scientists has found that fur shed by cats can serve as forensic evidence, thanks to the DNA
it contains. In fact, a man was recently convicted of second-degree murder in Canada after fur found
on his discarded jacket matched that of Snowball–the victim’s cat. The telltale fur led to a 15-year
prison sentence. Scientists say that it may soon become commonplace to use the genetic material
in fur shed by cats to link perpetrators, accomplices, witnesses, and victims.
As the researchers wrote in the journal Forensic Science
“Cats are fastidious groomers, and shed fur can have
sufficient genetic material for trace forensic studies,
allowing potential analysis of both standard short
tandem repeat (STR) and mitochondrial DNA regions.”
Veterinary scientist Robert Grahn and his team have
already amassed a feline DNA database containing
samples drawn from 25 distinct worldwide cat
populations and 26 breeds. The resultant database of
1,394 cat DNA sequences gives scientists a baseline
understanding of the overall genetic diversity of cats, so they can determine where to look for unique
identifiers in the cat genome, and figure out how definative a match is. The new database focuses on
mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is genetic material inherited from one’s mother.
Grahn explained to Discovery News that aside from mtDNA, nuclear DNA–which is even better for
identifying individuals–can also be found on those cat hairs that still retain their root bulbs or on
skin particles that might stick to the oily fur when cats groom themselves.
These natural oils, along with static electricity and the sheer volume of fur, mean that people who
enter a property with a resident cat are like fur magnets. It is almost impossible to avoid having one
or more cat furs cling to skin, clothing, shoes, bags and more.
A forensic test using the STR technique, which looks at particular markers in the cat genome, has
already been developed by forensic geneticist John Butler. Called the “Meowplex,” that test can be
used in conjunction with this new mtDNA database to help cats throws crooks behind bars.
For now, it’s the cats’ DNA database that is being built, but your doggy need not feel left out of this
episode of “Paw and Order.” Scientists hope to add canine and other animal DNA into this mix later.
Litter Box 101
DID YOU KNOW? Your cat’s sense of smell is nearly
1000 times better than yours, so clean the litter box
thoroughly at least once daily. Disinfect the pan and
replace the litter entirely once monthly.
If your cat does not respond to a clean litter box you
may need to replace it. Old litter boxed can become
scratched and permeated with a scent your cat finds
Hooded litter boxes were designed for owners not cats.
If your cat does not like going inside, try removing the
hoods and rethink the location of the boxes.
Litter boxes should be in a quiet, out of the way places with convenient access for your cats.
Keep the boxes away from bright lights, loud noises, and vibrations from washing machines or
If your home has multiple floors, have a box on each level. Finally, do not put a litter box near the
cat’s food dishes.
Become a Forgotten Felines Volunteer
Forgotten Felines is comprised of cat lovers who volunteer in the following ways:
1) FEEDERS: Monitor, feed and water a neighborhood colony of cats each day.
2) RESPONDERS: Respond to calls by rescuing injured or neglected cats.
3) FOSTER PARENTS: Foster baby kittens who have been separated
from their mothers while they await adoption.
4) KITTY NURSES: Rehabilitate sick or injured cats.
5) TRAPPERS: Rescue homeless cats so they can be spayed/neutered
6) DRIVERS: Drive contained cats to and from veterinary clinics on
7) BENEFACTORS: Donate tax deductible funds to pay for food and
veterinary care for the homeless and abandoned cats.
If you would like to volunteer in any of these ways, please give us a call at (305)743-2520.
No experience needed, training will be provided.