Cat Breeds 101: Suphalak

Cat Breeds 101: Suphalak
Photo © Wikipedia – lic. under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Suphalak is an extremely rare cat breed with a solid brown to copper colored coat. Often confused with the Havana Brown and the ebony colored Burmese, these cats are a natural breed of pure Thai origin and the breed standards do not allow outcrosses with other non-Thai cats. When they are in the sun their coat emits an almost reddish cast though in normal light, they look more like dark chocolate. The color of their whiskers is also brown and the nose is of rosy-brown color. The paw pads are light brown having a pink tone while their eyes are a bright golden-yellow color. [1]

Both a description and depiction of the Suphalak first appeared in a collection of ancient manuscripts called the Tamra Maew or The Cat-Book Poems thought to originate from the Ayutthaya Kingdom (1351 to 1767 AD). Over a dozen of these manuscripts are now kept at the National Library of Thailand while others have resurfaced outside the country and are now in the British Library and National Library of Australia. In addition to the Suphalak, the Tamra Maew also described other heritage cats of Thailand. [2] On April 7, 1767, at the end of the Burmese-Siamese war, the Siamese front lost the battle and all the royal treasures were stolen. The members of the royal household along with all nobles were taken captive. When the king of Burma read about the Suphalak in the Tamra Maew, he learned that the cats were “rare as gold” and anyone who would possess them would become rich. He ordered his men to bring all the cats the Burma. Today, the legend still takes round amidst the Thai people as a humorous explanation why the Suphalaks are so rare. [1]

Like other cat breeds from Thailand, Suphalak cats are people oriented. They are intelligent, affectionate and playful often taking on more of a dog-like personality. They are communicative, active and do not like to be left alone or ignored. [2]

Oscar The Healing Cat

A ten-year-old tabby cat named Oscar has become popular due to his uncanny ability to comfort patients in their dying days at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Islands. According to doctors at the healthcare facility, Oscar has predicted the deaths of more than hundred people. Oscar gives comfort to the dying. Is he a cat angel to each of them?

Oscar is such a precious kitty whose intuition has baffled scientists and doctors. Maybe he is a psychic that is tasked to help dying people and to bring comfort to them during their last hours?

Oscar’s supernatural ability was revealed by Dr. David Dosa, an assistant professor at Brown University. Dr. Dosa wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 that explored Oscar’s rare gift. A book titled “Making Rounds with Oscar: The extraordinary gift of an ordinary cat” was published by Dosa who shared his experiences with Oscar.

The “miracle cat” spends his time pacing from room to room and cuddles up the patients who are in their final dying days. Dr. Dosa believes that a certain scent of “death” attracts Oscar to end of life patients. Staff at the facility sees the presence of Oscar as an absolute sign of impending death. This enables them to adequate the relatives of the dying patients.

Cats are popular for possessing nine lives due to their ability to recover when faced with a death situation. They are known for assisting and feeding each other. It has been observed that cats can smell the death of their fellow cats. They provide assistance to those cats that dying, to lick or keep the other warm.

Oscar’s behavior is his way of offering to terminally-ill patients what he would do other members of its pride. This might sound morbid for non-believers, but Oscar’s action is a kind and supportive gesture!

In 2013, Oscar had a serious allergic reaction and was treated at intensive care unit. He died for several seconds but recovered with the help vets. He became patient for a few months at the nursing home, regained his health, and resumed his role as Doctor Cat!

Oscar The Healing Cat
image – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emJWiSh5KD8

Hiroshi Wants To Sleep

The video is about Hiroshi, a Japanese tabby cat who is getting cozy and cuddly with his owner. It’s bonding time for Hiroshi and his owner who finds the cat so cute that he cannot be angry with him. According to Hiroshi’s owner, the cat loves exploring the house and doing all kinds of cute things. In the video, Hiroshi attempts to doze off as he cuddles with his owner.

The purring machine is just being a sweetheart to his owner before he journeys to the land of dreams where cat toys are abound and where he can eat anything that fancies him TWICE!

Why do some cats prefer to sleep with their owners? There are several reasons to this behavior. Cats want to experience warmth from their owners and to feel comfortable before they hit the sack. Cats are known for sensing the hormonal scents which also make them at ease with their owners.

There is no available scientific paper to prove anything to that behavior. But cats like to sleep with their owners for warmth, love, affection, security, and companionship. Cats feel protected whenever they are near their human companions. In the eyes of cats, their owners are their Supermen, Batmen, Wonderwomen, and Ironmen!

The warmth element is seen mostly in older cats. Cats show their love by sleeping with their owners. They are at their most vulnerable during sleep so choosing to sleep with the owner shows their trust to them.

The social behavior of cat enables them to bond with their owners. This allows them to bond with each other. Cats and their owners do not spend the whole day together. Bedtime is one opportunity for them to communicate, sort of.

Bonding is an emotional aspect of having a pet such as cat. Sleeping with humans is closely associated with emotional safety.

Hiroshi Wants To Sleep
image – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF8z8RKA-sE