Dear Reader, the recent snow left the world white, sparkly, and beautiful. However, the best snow gift of all was the kitty tracks that went over our car, around the mailbox, and straight to our front door. Yes, Patches came to visit and left her calling card.
I had never really looked closely at cat tracks, but upon scrutiny, I observed the front tracks looked different then the back. A cat usually has 18 toes, four on each paw and a dewclaw on each of the front feet. Each paw has four, small digital pads or toe beans. The front leg also has a carpal pad on the backside.
If a cat has extra toes, it is usually on their front paws, and they are polydactyl meaning they have extra toes. In fact, Ernest Hemingway’s polydactyl cats are quite famous and have their own cathouse. It appears that Patches might be polydactyl, which is rare.
How do cats walk in snow? Paws have tough skin pads that protect the feet when they walk on different surfaces. The pads are able to discern hot, cold, and other signals. The color of paw pads depends on the pigment in the fur. A solid colored cat has the same color as her fur, but multicolored cats range from black to pink.
Never declaw a cat! Cats have retractable claws that are vital for survival. Claws assist traction, hunting, and self-defense. Scratching surfaces allows cats to mark territory because paws have glands between their toes that secrete a unique scent.
There is no doubt that cats are unique. They even have fingerprints just like humans and are even able to unlock iPhones that have fingerprint sensors. Therefore, if you find bird videos on your phone that you did not download, the culprit may be a furry one.
Whoops, I hope I have not let the cat out of the bag.
CAPS is in quarantine for dogs until after Jan. 28. We cannot accept or place dogs in homes until the quarantine is over. There is no quarantine on cats.
We have five adorable five to seven-month-old puppies — one girl and four boys.
We also have seven fluffy kittens ages five to eight months — four boys and three girls in a rainbow of colors. All our babies need foster homes. Call 775-7500 for details.
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