`Who cut off Bennie’s whiskers? | NevadaAppeal.com

`Who cut off Bennie’s whiskers?

It’s always fun looking at photos and reminiscing about the joys or sometimes the not-joys of growing up. My husband’s memories about growing up with a rowdy brother and tattling sister always make me laugh. In one of the photos there is a cat named Bennie with no facial whiskers. The one big mystery of my husband’s childhood is who cut off Bennie’s whiskers.

I wondered what exactly the whiskers do and how Bennie did without his. It turns out grooming, trimming or cutting off a cat’s whiskers is a big no-no. Whiskers and human hair are not alike. The whiskers, unlike human hair, are actually touch receptors.

Whiskers, which are longer and stiffer, are also called vibrissae. They are embedded much deeper than the top-fur coat and are connected to the nervous and muscular system. Cats have whiskers on either side of their nose, upper facial lip, above their eyes, jaw line and on the back of their front legs.

At the end of the whiskers is a small organ called the proprioceptor, which sends tactile signals to the brain and nervous system, kind-of-like kitty radar. Cats can gauge if they are able fit into a tight space using their whiskers. This organ makes the whiskers sensitive to changes in the environment and vibrations in the air. Cats are excellent hunters thanks to whiskers.

Whiskers can alert you to a cat’s mood. If the cat is content, the whiskers will be immobile. Watch out if the whiskers bunch up and lay flat against the cat’s face, that means the cat is afraid.

Poor Bennie, you would think after fifty years someone would own up to it, I guess the cat got someone’s tongue.


If you have ventured out to CAPS. I’m sure you’ve seen people walking dogs. Leona Quilici is one of those people. She is a faithful dog walker who comes out four times a week to spend time with many of the CAPS guests. Leona has been on the scene for two years and has made many friends. She loves the animals and serves on the CAPS board. Leona told me her other duty is petting Silly Kettle, the official CAPS cat. We think Leona is the best and deserves big WOOF.


This week’s pet personality is Gooney, an American bulldog. He is 5-and-a-half years young with a big winning personality. This guy won hearts at the Murder Mystery Theater production. He was the mob dog with a top hat, tux and attitude. Gooney is looking for a pal he can walk and hang out with. This guy is so cool that he’ll be the star of your heart. Come in and meet him.

We have five darling puppies policy prohibits them from adopting out puppies or kittens under the age of six months to a home with children under five years of age. This is to protect both the children and the animal., two girls and three boys, eagerly looking for their happy-ever-after home. CAPS’


Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 15-gallon Prairie-Fire crab apple tree. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon. The drawing date will be announced later, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win.

Be sure to mark Saturday, May 9, on your calendars for our annual Bark in the Park 5K walk/run. Bark in the Park will be held at the fairgrounds. Watch this article for further information.

CAPS will be at Walmart on April 18 with our Kissin’ Booth and Ki. Get into the spring swing and join Ki’s fan club. CAPS also has new designs of hoodies, shirts and other items for you or your honey.

CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. Please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnv.org) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me jkwmil@outlook.com.

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.