The Meowfia Has Feline-Ethnobiologist’s Back

Everyday is Caturday

Hi Burgers,

This week’s Featured User is doing important work. Feline-ethnobiologist is helping to bridge the gap between cats and their humans. Daunting? Sure. Terrifying at times? Absolutely. The head bonks make it worth it though and with the Meowfia on her side, Feline-ethnobiologist has made a powerful ally.

We’d love to hear the story behind your username!
I used “catlady” on other websites, so cheezburger needed something more specialized. “feline-ethnobiologist” explains that I observe what cats do, study why they do things, and interpret what it means to us hoomins, as best I can.

Seems like I’ve been observing and interpreting cat “language” for my whole life (48 years). But I don’t claim to be an expert. When observing them, I wonder, “Where is the line between house cat and wild predator?” Also, “Can we hoomins make assumptions about certain groups of cats – such as whether most tuxedo cats have sudden mood swings, or whether most tabby cats are especially good hunters?” Body posture and movements are key; for example, cats seem to express thoughts with their ear positions, and feelings with their tail movements.

How long have you been a member of the Cheezburger community and what made you want to join?
I registered in October of 2011. Remember Grumpy Cat’s snarky holiday cards?

Before cheezburger, friends would visit me and ask, “Didn’t you say there are 5 cats here? We don’t see any.” So I took photos of the cats to prove they exist. Under each photo I made a comment about it. Then my friend said, “Go to cheezburger. You can caption your photos.”

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What do you look for in a Cheez friend, and what’s the best way to make a new friend?
I look at a person’s LOLs, comments and faves, and if I like those, then we can be friends.

My friends show great imagination and originality. So far, my dashboard doesn’t show excessive profanity and vulgarity – there’s enough of that elsewhere on the internet. If an animal was flung, dropped or threatened to perform for the camera, that photo is obvious and not clever. I appreciate pictures where the animal is filmed just doing what they like to do.

I was a little shy at first and didn’t send friend requests, because I was following the custom on other website to wait for longtime members to send friend requests to new members. Then I discovered the “see who favorited me” function, and made the LOL “What, I haz fanz? Which LOLs did they like?” and started making friends.

What is your favorite site on Cheezburger and why?
LOLcats, Animal Captions, Animal GIFs, and sometimes Engrish, Autocowrecks and Lovely Listings.

I do what I can in the time I have away from work. Usually I log in and start favoriting the latest LOLs on my dashboard, then check messages. Then I remember to check the Front Pages.

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What is it about Cheezburger that makes you happy?
I have to pause here and say THANK YOU to all our veterans who preserve our freedoms, including freedom of speech. On cheezburger, I get to be silly or say absurd things, and no one is going to tell me to be quiet or go home. I enjoy uploading and captioning my photos, captioning photos from the builder or my friends, and putting the LOLs into themed categories. Sometimes I forget that friends can see what I create as I do it. When they like something, it’s a nice surprise, especially if what I made cheered up someone else, whether it was a 5-frame Poster or just a plain caption on a good photo.

I’ve been treated for anxiety and depression for more than 10 years, so “the pursuit of happiness” is pretty important. That’s how I justify spending so much time with cats and with goofy cat pictures and making other people laugh. Sometimes it’s the only thing that gets me out of a blue mood and back to doing my chores. Menopause, the doctors call it. So officially I’m a “crazy OLD cat lady.”

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Tell us something super interesting about yourself—an embarrassing story, a quirky habit, something that will make us laugh!
One evening, the sky became very dark as I was putting away garden tools. A black and white shape emerged from the shadows at the edge of my view. “Oh, there’s Buddy,” I thought, and bent down to pet him. YOWZA! It was a skunk and we jumped away from each other at light speed!

The next day, I was pulling weeds when Buddy shoved his face into a tomato bush. Then he stood up and whacked the bush with his paws. What in the world? I thought. Buddy looked in the bush again, and slammed it with a left-right-left punch like a boxer. I came over to find a tomato hornworm with its face bashed in. Now, for all you gardeners who’ve had to cut tomato hornworms out of their plants, I don’t need to tell you how unwelcome they are, since they can eat an entire tomato bush within 24 hours. Only the #1 bug on my ick list. I don’t think Buddy had ever seen a hornworm before, but he knew it was vermin and put a hit on it Meowfia-style.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Cheezburgers?
This is the most difficult question of all. Cheeseburgers with red onion, tomato and roasted pepper slices. No, wait… Salsa. No, Pie… it has to be Pie. You can put just about anything in a crust. Cherries, apples, blueberries, mushrooms… No wait, that last one would be quiche.

If you could create a new feature for Cheezburger members to use on our sites what would it be, and why do we need it?
Not sure, I’ll get back to you on that one. If I want a specific picture that I know is already on cheezburger, I leave the first window open to cheezburger, and open a second window with Google and search til I reach it on cheezburger. Then I’m logged in both places and can favorite the picture I was looking for. Otherwise, I look for pictures on the LOLbuilder or what friends have uploaded.

What else do you like to do when you’re not on the Internet?
I make smoothies every day from frozen berries, banana chunks and Greek yogurt. I whirl them in a food processor to make “ice cream”. I like to read about fruit, to plant fruit, and eat fruit. And vegetabobbles. Have to have those too.

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Where do you often find inspiration for your LOLs?
Inspiration is everywhere. Often something is happening in the yard, I photograph it, and the photo inspires the caption. Other times, I have an idea and hunt down photos to make it work. Usually, I’m just goofing around, so if no one happens to like the LOL, that’s okay. A few times, I was falling asleep and made a LOL before logging off -and those are the ones you selected for FPs. like the dog filling in for monorail cat, the dog swimming through the humid air, and the sleepy computer cat.

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Do you have any favorite vacation spots? Is there somewhere you’ve never been that you’d like to go?
A vacation is hiking in the woods. Some trails I know very well, down to the individual California native plant, that when I walk past, it’s almost like saying to a friend, “Hey, how’ve you been? Did you get enough rain to flower this year?” Of course, I don’t expect plants to reply. Here, I toasted a giant marshmallow and put it between graham crackers and chocolate for that classic camping treat, the s’more.

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If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
That’s easy. After paying taxes, there should be a few clams left over. Plenty to pay off the home loan and other debts. Then donate some to SNIP, for spay/neuter surgeries, supplies and vaccines. I adore kittens, but there aren’t enough hoomins willing to look after a cat or five. Just because cats reproduce quickly, doesn’t mean they are a dime a dozen. Also, it’s heartbreaking to have the vet euthanize your cat who is sick with feline leukemia and AIDS, because your cat got it from being bitten in a fight with a feral non-neutered tomcat. There’s a vaccine but no cure for leukemia, and no vaccine or cure for feline AIDS, so I recommend cats be spayed and neutered to reduce the wandering and biting. Unfortunately, there are people who feed cats and don’t spay or neuter them. Last time I checked there were about 50 feral cats at the edge of our neighborhood. Some lost their lives on the roadways, some to feline AIDS and leukemia. Sometimes people say to me, “We saw a cat and he looks hungry.” I tell them, “They do that. Don’t feed stray cats unless you follow through with trap/neuter/release and vaccines. Call your County office for a list of people who can reduce the cost and get the surgeries done.” Harsh for people, humane for cats. Well, you asked!

Do you have any animal companions, or have you had any in the past? What is special about them?
The Meowfia. Most of them are FFF’s, formerly feral felines. They’re like barn cats. Their job is to patrol the yard and keep vermin from stealing my vegetabobbles. You could say Chumley is the godfather. He’s the oldest, at nine years. He’s been around, he’s seen it all. Buddy Swipes is a wiseguy at 7 years, and Sweetie at 5 years is his moll-at least, that’s how he treats her. Mimi at 3 years old is the bookkeeper, and she’s always inspecting the paperwork on my desk. And the silvery gray longhaired kitteh, is Her Royal Highness Princess Ashley. She won’t admit her age, but she could be related to Chumley. You’d swear she sounds like she’s being tortured, the way she hollers so loud at Buddy if he just walks by. So Ashley’s manners are not quite perfect.

Sumfin’s Wrong wid da Web. That’s my Ashley.

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That’s my Buddy, Baby Girl and Chumley.

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That’s my Mimi.

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Meowfia Cat defender of the fruit. That’s my Buddy.

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How did you come to ‘adopt’ a colony of feral cats? Any good stories about the colony that you care for?
Long ago, I adopted Louie, a shorthaired black cat from a city shelter. At 10 years old, he strayed and it took me 3 months to find him. Then he lived to be 20. One Mother’s Day, Louie brought me a present, a cooked breakfast sausage. Where Louie got it, and why he didn’t eat it, I don’t know. After Louie passed, my husband said, “No new animals.” But just when I needed a friend, a longhaired black kitten showed up on our street, My neighbor trapped, neutered and released this teenage kitten, then the kitten promptly walked into our house and sat on my husband. “I told you there was a cat outside, and not to leave the door open,” I said. We named him “Chumley.”

The other cats squeezed their way into our lives. The tuxedo cat (Buddy) was the meanest cat on the block, he kept fighting and biting poor Chumley at 3 in the morning. We think the tuxedo cat came across the empty field from the trailer park. He too was trapped, neutered and released, and I got some sleep. One evening, I put the food dish indoors out of reach of the wildlife, and stopped. I heard something. “Honey, I think there’s a cat under our porch”, I called. “No, wait. Two short-haired black cats! They’re about two years old and look like brother and sister. (Big Brother and Sweetie Baby Girl) Oh no, here we go again.” Trap, neuter, release. A short time later, a longhaired silvery gray cat (Ashley) showed up and chased Sweetie next door. “Where are all these cats coming from?!” I said after putting up “Found” posters. Rumor is that someone in the area moved in a hurry and abandoned their cats, guinea fowl and peacocks to wander the neighboring roads.

What’s growing in the garden this year? Any good recipes made with homegrown veggies you’d like to share?
Food from the garden? In a word, SALSA! Just chop and dice a bowl f ripe tomatoes, purple onion, cilantro with roasted red and green Anaheim and jalapeno peppers and garlic. Add a couple tablespoons rice vinegar and Italian seasonings. Eat with corn chips, put on scrambled eggs, or mix into a bowl of beans with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

A fellow English major! As an editor, have you ever accidentally mixed some lolspeak into your professional work? Are you that friend that is always correcting people’s use of ‘there’, or do you practice a passive grammar approach?
Nope, as Grumpy Cat says. I’ve never put LOLspeak in professional work. However, it does pop into my head when taking photos. I try not to be too wordy (FAIL LOL). My husband has dyslexia and other disabilities, and it does no good to point out his mistakes. He knows he can ask me to spell a word for him, because I won’t ever make a snarky comment about it.

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Thanks for the great interview Feline-ethnobiologist, you’re truly one of the good ones. The last thing the Internet needs is more snarky grammar comments.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

 

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We’re Having A Spelling Bee!

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Hi Burgers,

Can your cat spell better than you? If so, then you’re good to go and need not read further. If not, you might want to check out our Spelling Bee.

First, let me give you the details. Cheezburger is teaming up with the non profit Powerful Schools to throw the very first Celebrity-Tech-Community Spelling BEE! The event will take place October 2 at the Showbox SODO in downtown Seattle. All proceeds and donations to the event and the individual spellers go directly to Powerful Schools and their mission to reduce the academic achievement gap by creating strong partnerships with public schools to help children thrive.

The BEE itself will be run by The creators of Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! These hilarious veteran improvisors will put our spelling acumen to the test while providing you with non-stop laughter, suspense and obscure vocabulary! There’s nothing better than obscure vocabulary.

This should be an awesome time for a good cause. Tofu and myself will be there representing the Cheezburger community and of course handing out swag. If you’re a Seattle Burger or are going to be in the area, we’d love to see you! Each ticket comes with dinner from Marination Station (so good)! You can buy tickets here.

Whether or not you can go to the event, if you want to support the cause please donate to our individual spellers! Every dollar counts and as spellers raise money they unlock various cheats so they can keep playing even if they can’t spell ‘esquamulose’. The spellers consist of various Seattleites in the social spotlight including our local KOMO weather man Seth Wayne (Donate to him!) and Will Braden, the human behind everyone’s favorite cat in an existential crisis, Henri. Check out the full list of spellers here.

Thanks for your support everyone and we hope to see you there. It would be awesome if you’d consider sharing this with your friends too. If anyone has questions about the event, let me know in the comments.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

 

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Happy National Cheezburger Day!

Furrgetmenot, we salute you!
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Thanks for the tribute!

Hi Burgers,

Fact: Cheezburgers fuel the cats that fuel the Internet.

In celebration of this important holiday and because you all probably have the day off, we’ve hidden 5 Cheezburgers throughout various images on Lolcats, I Has A Hotdog and Animal Capshuns. They’ll be posted throughout the day. See if you can track them all down.

Is there any real reason for this? Absolutely not, but you are welcome to come back here and gloat about your investigative prowess when you find all the burgs.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

As far as I know, Toolbee and Chris10a are the first ones in. Looks like Toolbee is suggesting a Cheezburger in paradise to celebrate?

 

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Are You Going To Cat-Con?

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Hi Burgers,

What are you up to on the weekend of June 6-7 next year? No plans? Thought so. If you’re going to be in the Los Angeles area consider making a pilgrimage to one of the greatest gatherings of crazy (and not so crazy, if you prefer) cat people the world has seen.

Cat-Con LA is essentially like Comic Con for cat people. I’m thinking it’s going to be like Cheezburger IRL, which is awesome!

Our founder Ben Huh will be attending and talking at the conference as well as many other fat cats of the Internet Famous feline world. Lil Bub and his dude Mike Bridavsky and Will Braden, the man behind the feline philospher, ‘Henri Le Chat Noir’ are among the many allies of the cat tribe that will also be attending. In addition to celeb appearances, more than 150 exhibitors will showcase their cat-centric wares, all of which will be for sale to the public. It’s going to be an all around good time.

There will be more info posted as the date nears. There isn’t much to see now, but you can keep the Cat Con LA site bookmarked, as it will be the place for updates.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

 

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There’s No Need To Gif Alone

Hi Burgers,

Why are Tuesdays perfect for Gif-Togethers? I have no idea, but they are. Maybe it’s because it’s like the pinky toe of weekdays. You’re not against it, you don’t really need it, but you’re fine with it being there.

I think I need more coffee.

Anyway, The Seattle Sounders are going to win the USOC Final today! I’m hoping for plenty of this:

What’s new with you guys?

just battlin’ a bad case of the toads… it ain’t pretty.

Meowgon

Eww.

I do LOVE me some gif togethers~

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Mods are alseep.

Post pictures of Mods being high.
Meowgon

Um, I meant to do that. It’s legal in Seattle. Doesn’t count.

Something like this happened today… And I was the laughing one…

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Chasing shadow to amuse myself:

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Fine Art And The Double Fumble

Hi Burgers,

The Cheezburger Blog is a well known haunt for connoisseurs of the fine arts, right? Absolutely.

Whether or not you agree, I thought I’d share the works of the Seoul based artist group known as Shinseungback Kimyonghun. Why? Because these guys are exploring the complicated relationship we all have with the robots and computers we interact with every day.

Theres’s a photo collage of clouds that have been recognized as human faces by face-recognition technology.
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A group of cats that were recognized by the same software as human faces..
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I hope no one told these cats about this horrible insult.

And of course, humans that were recognized as cats.
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There’s a strange program that creates a composite facial image from all the faces shown in a given movie. This video is from ‘Avatar’.

There’s even a strangely intimate video of a montage of screen grabs taken every time one of the artist’s clicks his mouse throughout the course of a day. Seems like a dangerous experiment to sign up for.

There are some other pretty interesting exhibits on the artists’ site. If you feel like getting all cultured on a Monday morning, check them out. Check out ‘The God’s Script’ if you go.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

PS – If it’s too early for all of that, please join me in enjoying the greatest play of the NFL weekend. James Jones of the Oakland Raiders performing the rare and mystifying double fumble.

Nailed it. What a crazy week in the NFL. Making FIFA look like a bastion of high morality lately, yikes.

 

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Manchester Dogs’ Home Fire

Hi Burgers,

No Featured User this week, but this gives us a chance to focus on a worthy cause and restore our faith in humanity a bit.

People are taking to social media after a fire at the Manchester Dogs’ Home in England took the lives of more than 50 dogs. Rest in peace pups.

The campaign started when one person took a selfie with his dog along with his donation to the home and asked people to pass it on. The goodwill of people has been incredible and so far more than £600,000 has been raised – obliterating the original £5,000 target.

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Those donating have been posting their #dogselfie to help raise awareness and more money. You can join the cause at the Just Giving page through Facebook.

Bravo Internet! Even the kittehs are proud today. All the more reason to save Internet Neutrality.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

 

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Good Dogs

Hi Burgers,

I wanted to quickly share some feels. This gallery contains the last survinving search and rescue dogs who helped recover victims and survivors of the 9/11 attacks 13 years after their brave efforts.

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A bunch of heroes.

Cheers,
Cheezburger

 

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Well That’s Awkward

Hi Burgers,

Looks like we should maybe move our Gif-Togethers back to Tuesdays, until then I’ll just lay low.

You guys up to anything good today?

I’m workin’ hard CATching up on laundry. Okay you got me…, I’m playing with the cat again.

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Just relaxing. Had a long day

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I don’t even know

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I don’t know either tentoes2..

Today I learned the French word for shower.

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Stop The Spinning Wheel Of Death!

Hi Burgers,

We need you to help us fight for the Internet on September 10. It’s simple, the FCC wants to slow down and break the Internet and they are getting closer every day to achieving this goal. Take a look at the kitteh below, she’s trapped, doomed like some feline Sisyphus locked in her perpetual loading wheel!

There’s still time to stop the madness and keep the Internet free and weird! Hopefully you were able to sign the letter to the FCC that popped up when you arrived here. We hope that you’ll also join the Battle For The Net and get the word out tomorrow (September 10).

Please join the fight and help us get the word out tomorrow! Head to the Battle For The Net’s site for some good ways to share and to grab a spinning kitty of death avatar to display on all of your social media sites tomorrow. Please help us spread the word in whatever way you can. Tell everyone you know to free the kitty from the wheel! You might want to give some context though, because that sentence sounds crazy by itself.

Solidarity Internet!

Cheezburger

This movement is worldwide! The ‘Big Telecom Vs The World’ campaign is collaborating with over 50 digital rights groups and web platforms in 12 different countries to create a global call for the open Internet. Check it out and let’s keep this going.
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