By Briseis Schreibman
First pets are a right of passage for any animal lover. Sure, their name may be the answer to a bank security question, but their significance is much more profound. Some of us may have spent our whole lives with pets, and others may have adopted their friends later in life. Regardless of when you first welcomed a pet into your home, that process is a wonderfully exciting one. From the teeniest goldfish to the fluffiest pup, animals have so many incredible lessons to teach us.
I feel lucky to have been raised with cats my whole life. I never had an official “first” pet. However, I cherish the group of animals that I spent my formative years with. They developed my long time love for animals and taught me to have patience and empathy for all beings (human or animal). Where animals lack traditional language, they are overflowing with more subtle forms of communication and love. It is with patience and empathy that one learns to unlock this language and establishes a truly special relationship.
First pets provide plenty of challenges and learning curves. Learning not to get upset when your puppy had an accident or your newly adopted cat scratched your fancy leather sofa may have seemed insurmountable at first. But looking back on those initial weeks with your pet, the memories that stick are not the challenges but the moments of great success. The moments when your pet first cuddled up next to you on the couch or ran up to you when you came home.
Whether your first pet is still a member of your family or has passed away, take a few moments to reflect on your time with them. If you feel up to it, the CUP team would love to hear your first pet story.
Tag us on Instagram with a picture of you and your first pet and let us know what lessons they taught you.
By: Nao Mitsutomi
If you’ve ever spent a good amount of time with cats, you know that they have some quirky behaviors! Ever wonder why they act in the ways they do? Here are some common ‘weird’ mannerisms they show and the reasoning behind them!
1. Why do cats love being in small spaces?
You’ve probably found that your cat loves to hang out in cardboard boxes instead of their fluffy, comfortable bed. Turns out, this is an instinctual behavior, because out in the wild, cats used enclosed spaces to hide from predators and stalk prey. In other words, being in boxes makes cats feel more safe and less stressed!
2. Why do cats slow blink?
If your cat likes to stare at you and blink slowly, that’s great news! This gesture is a way for them to communicate to you that they love and trust you! Next time you catch your cat blinking slowly at you, try slow blinking back and see if they start to slow blink with you!
3. Why do cats rub their head on you?
typical cat behavior is head-butting and rubbing their heads on humans. Not only does this mean that the cat trusts you, but it also means that they are rubbing their pheromones on you, marking you as their territory!
By: Briseis Schreibman
Hello again, CUP family, wishing you all well! This week I've been spending a lot of time listening to the podcast This Is Love by Phoebe Judge. With topics ranging from a town that stayed quiet for a month to an artist with a photographic memory, there is no shortage of entertainment and surprise when it comes to Judge's storytelling. While I very much encourage you to listen to the entire podcast, I'm here to talk about one furry-friend focused story in particular. "Silvia and the Cats" (listen to podcast here) follows the story of a Roman monument's caretaker and the many cats that have overtaken it. As a younger woman, Silvia Zerenghi encountered their previous caretaker lamenting the difficulties of taking care of the cats with such limited funding. An immediate friendship was born between the two cat lovers. Silvia took it upon herself to collect enough money to take care of the cats living there but to set up a system of support, complete with a battalion of cat-loving volunteers. At first thought the image of it all may seem ridiculous, two hundred plus cats making camp on this historical site. In fact, some people thought it so absurd that they petitioned to relocate the cats. Still, Silvia fought fiercely and earned the cats a permanent home in this unique sanctuary.
Any cat owner knows they have a tendency to snuggle down in unusual spots. Whether it's your computer keyboard or an abandoned cardboard box, cats will figure out a way to get comfy.
(Evidence of This Feline Principle) While we may sometimes find ourselves frustrated with this habit, perhaps we should take a note from Silvia and just embrace the cat takeover.