Happy New Year! And as we enter into 2024, different media sources are looking back on the previous year and discussing its most important moments. Our feline overlords may be more interested in curling up for a snooze on a magazine or newspaper rather than reading them, but they do have some key highlights to look back on from last year. In this article, a local Wichita, KS veterinarian highlights some of Fluffy’s big moments from 2023.


Kitty Distribution System


Social media may be a double-edged sword, but sometimes it reveals something important … such as the Cat Distribution System. What is that? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a theory about how the universe distributes cats to the right people at the right time. For example, one user found a kitten in a bush at work, while another returned home to find Fluffy waiting on their stairs. The concept, which has become quite popular, is basically just that cats have a way of choosing their humans, rather than it being the other way around. They just may use a bit of divine intervention in doing so. We suspect that quite a few of our feline patients found their furever homes via this mysterious system.


Many users shared stories and videos of their surprise encounters with their newly designated feline companions. The takeaway here? If you find a stray cat at your job or come home to a cute kitty meowing on your doorstep, well, the universe may have just assigned you a new pet.


Of course, we do have to make a more serious note. You’re not officially obligated to keep any cat you see. Adopting a cat is a big commitment. In some cases, you may simply be meant to help Fluffy find her forever home.


Heartwarming Mews


Just last month, a Pennsylvania shelter was thrilled to announce that all of its cages were empty for the first time in 47 years! The shelter shared the good news on their Facebook page, calling it a ‘True Christmas Miracle.’ We’re inclined to agree! We hope that the newly-adopted pets are all safe, sound, and happy in their new homes. Hopefully,  next year we’ll be able to share similar announcements.


Kittens Adorably Celebrate Their New Digs


Two adorable kittens in an Indianapolis shelter made headlines. The cats, Ruby and Opal, were filmed as they moved into a new cage. This may not sound very newsworthy, but the two cats were so obviously thrilled at the upgrade that they jumped for joy and generally got very zoomy and playful. Their adorable celebratory antics captured hearts all over the internet after the rescue, Pepperspalrescue, shared the clip on TikTok. (We hope Ruby and Opal are now happily scampering around in their forever homes.)


It’s Just Cattitude


Another kitty, Booboo, got his fifteen minutes of fame last year as well. The feline’s owner couldn’t figure out why Booboo’s water bowl was always empty. This being 2024 (or technically, 2023 at the time) the solution was to of course set up a camera … which subsequently caught Booboo red-pawed in the act of tipping the bowl over and spilling water into the rug. On purrpose. Of course.


The Cat Who Stole Christmas


One frisky feline made Santa Claws’ naughty list last year. The feline, Walter, was caught on camera stealing his parents’ holiday decorations while they were sleeping. TikTok user angelwingswalter, who filmed the red-pawed feline stealing the stocking. Bah, humbug!


Our Feline Friends Get A Beautiful Living Tribute


It’s always heartwarming to spot a little sleeping cat in a Thai rice field, though this probably doesn’t normally make for a newsworthy moment. This story is a purrfect exception to that rule. A rice farmer paid tribute to our feline overlords by creating an intricate design in his rice paddy. The farmer used colored seeds and GPS technology to create a work of art meant to attract visitors. It’s definitely a meow-velous sight!


We Knew This: Fluffy Is A Furry, Charming Serial Killer


According to a study published in Nature Communications, cats hunt and consume over 2,084 different types of animals and insects, including 347 vulnerable species, such as the Northern Bobwhite Quail, the Green Sea Turtle, and the Little Brown Bat. Kitties are also blamed for at least 60 extinctions.


This is another great reason to keep your furry friend indoors! Outdoor kitties face some serious threats, such as weather, traffic, predators, parasites, and even other cats. For more information, and tips on how to keep your furry friend healthy and happy indoors, reach out to your Wichita, KS veterinary clinic. 


Yep, Another Kitty Quirk


A recent study in Scientific Reports examined an overlooked aspect of Fluffy’s personality: her love for playing Fetch. Over 1000 cat owners were interviewed. The result? A bit purrplexing. Researchers found that many cats learned how to fetch spontaneously. According to the study, this curious behavior developed out of nowhere for 94% of respondents.


The Siamese and Bengal breeds of cats are more likely to enjoy this pet pastime than others, but any cat can play at any time.


Return To The Wild


One standout accomplishment of 2023 is the advancement of Saving Wildcats, who are making progress in restoring Scottish Wildcats to their natural habitat, the Cairngorms. The team announced last year that 19 wildcats have been released and are being monitored through GPS collars. There’s also another batch of kittens being prepared for rewilding.


This initiative holds tremendous potential for reviving a species that was previously believed to be functionally extinct. We wholeheartedly support the attempts, and hope the program is a resounding success. (Note: if there were ever a cat we could accurately describe as a majestic floof, it’s the Scottish Wildcat.)

A Loving Companion


We often poke fun at Fluffy for being aloof, but that really isn’t fair. Our feline companions actually possess a wide range of emotions. Behavioral Processes recently published a study that delved into the emotional world of cats and their strong bonds with humans.


Turns out that there are over 276 unique kitty expressions. In this study, which involved 53 adult cats in a Los Angeles cat café, researchers examined Fluffy’s facial expressions. The results proved what any cat owner already knows: these furry, comical little beings are highly emotional and form very strong attachments to their owners. (Of course, our feline pals may show their affection in some rather peculiar ways, such as biting, scratching, or just ignoring us, but that’s a discussion for another time.)


A Purrfect Celebration


This one is of note to all the newly-engaged couples that will be tying the knot in 2024. The website FelixPurrfectProposal.com was created by a cat insurance company as a contest for people who were about to propose. Participants visited the site to share how their feline buddies will participate in their proposals, engagements, and marriages. The lucky winner will receive $4,750 towards an engagement ring. Fluffy will also get a special prize. The winner hasn’t been announced yet, but we can’t wait to see the cat pictures!

All of us here at Hodes Veterinary Health Center, your local Wichita, KS animal hospital, wish you a wonderful new year. Please reach out to us anytime. We look forward to providing you with the best service