A Cat’s Picks for the 2017 Preakness

May 20, 2017

By Adele

Since Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is running in the Preakness for his second jewel of the Triple Crown today (5 p.m. ET, NBC), this kitty would never pee on his parade and wish him not to win. He’s starting in post position 4 with jockey John Velazquez, and he’s the humans’ favorite with odds of 4-5.

The next horse I’ll be watching is one of my Derby picks, Gunnevera (odds 15-1, pp 6). Nobody’s talking about him as a serious contender, so he could be plotting to take the lead like a ninja and stun everybody. He’s had a jockey switch, and will under Mike Smith this time. His jockey in the Derby, Javier Castellano, will be aboard Cloud Computing in pp 2.

We haven’t spoken, but I would think Gunnevera is pleased with this development, since Castellano helped him come in 7th in the Derby.

My third pick is Classic Empire (odds 3-1, pp 5) with jockey Julien Leparoux. He was the humans’ favorite in the Derby, but finished 4th. I think he deserves a little glory this time for sticking with it.

Only 10 horses are racing, so the field won’t be too crowded. The weather at Pimlico is supposed to be cool, in the 60s, and cloudy, with no rain and a dry track. Basically, perfect conditions for the horses.

It so happens that my horses will be side by side in the middle of the pack in post positions 4, 5, and 6. The last horse who won from Always Dreaming’s 4 slot was Curlin in 2007.

As always, may the best horse win and may they all cross the finish line safely.


A Cat’s 2017 Kentucky Derby Picks

May 5, 2017

By Adele

It’s that time again! The 143rd Run for the Roses gets underway Saturday, May 6, on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET, with post time at 6:34. This kitty will be cheering for my favorites, although I confess that, during my research, no horse really jumped out and grabbed me from the full field of 20.

Classic Empire is the humans’ favorite (odds 4-1, post position 14) under jockey Julien Leparoux. On February 4, he ran 3rd after his Derby competitors Irish War Cry and Gunnevera, but it was discovered post-race that Classic Empire had a foot abscess, so his loss may have been a fluke.

He does come well-connected. His father is Pioneer of the Nile, who finished 2nd in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, and his big brother is American Pharoah, who ended the 37-year Triple Crown drought by winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont in 2015. Classic has run six previous races and won them all except his one 3rd-place finish, so I can see why hopes are high for him. But you know me. I never look a gift horse in the mouth. Classic last ran on April 15, so he may be a little tired.

Another big human favorite is Irish War Cry (odds 6-1, pp 17). He’s a son of Curlin, who was named Horse of the Year in 2007 AND 2007 (much to Big Brown’s disgust). His jockey is Rajiv Maragh, and he’s won two of his three previous races, but lost by 21 lengths to Gunnevera in the only race he ever blew.

Now, on to MY favorites. I’m not too picky about the order they cross the finish line, but I want their dust to be what the other 17 eat…

Tapwrit (odds 20-1, pp 16) I like just because. He’s trained by Todd Pletcher and won the Tampa Bay Derby on March 11. But he ran 5th in his most recent race on April 8. His jockey is Jose Ortiz. His father is Tapit, who ran 9th in the 2004 Kentucky Derby. I know this pick seems totally wacko, but just trust me. I have a feeling.

Gunnevera (odds 15-1, pp 10), who already has a history of messing with many of his Derby competitors, is another one I’m watching. He’s run 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in four of his five previous races, winning most recently on March 4. His jockey is Javier Castellano.

And my solid favorite is Patch (odds 30-1, pp 20) because he’s the serious underdog. Another Pletcher horse, Patch injured and lost his left eye in a mysterious stable accident he’s never explained. He’s running on the far outside, so all the other horses will be on his blind side. Will that give him greater concentration, or will he bump into somebody as his jockey, Tyler Gaffalione, tries to maneuver him closer to the rail?

Patch’s father is Union Rags, winner of the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Patch has won only one race in his previous three, but came in a close 2nd April 1 at the Louisiana Derby, so there’s hope.

The Kentucky Derby is always the most exciting race of the Triple Crown because ANY horse has a shot at glory, so my tail is fluffed with anticipation. As always, we at Cats Working wish all the horses to be healthy and happy on race day and cross the finish line safely.


Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day

August 17, 2016

By Max and Roc

No, we are not making this up.

Even though we’ve had a two-legged black cat in the White House for almost eight years, the four-legged type continue to live under the shadow of human brainwashing about how evil we are.

We’re harmless. Just ask Karen. If living with black cats were dangerous, she’d have been dead years ago. Eight of the ten cats she’s adopted in her adult life have been black or black tuxedo. The only two exceptions were Adele and the late, great Fred, both pure white.

If you have a black cat, give him or her extra hugs and treats today. If you’re thinking maybe you’d like to get a cat, go straight to your nearest shelter and take home the blackest cat they have.

It’s a fact that black cats and dogs are the last to be adopted, even though we’re just as loving and we need good homes as much as tabbies and calicos. We may even be smarter because we’ve managed to survive over the centuries in spite of so many people being out to kill us.

For example, Roc will troubleshoot problems with your TV for a reasonable fee.

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And a tuxedo cat like Max makes a perfect plus-one at any elegant soirée.

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We’ve got brains and good looks. Who could ask for anything more?


A Cat Interviews Exaggerator

June 10, 2016

By Adele

No, the Exaggerator isn’t Donald Trump. He’s my 2016 favorite horse. I managed to pull strings for some cat-on-horse time before his last and longest Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes on June 11 (NBC, 5-7 p.m. ET).

In case you’re tuning in late, Exaggerator ran second to Nyquist in the Kentucky Derby, but then handed Nyquist his first-ever defeat in the Preakness.

We Skyped while the Ex Man rested up before the big day. (Shhh! Don’t tell Karen I stole her iPad!)

Adele: Are you bummed Nyquist won’t be racing? Everybody was hoping one of you would pull off two out of three Triple Crown wins.

Exaggerator: Yeah, that would have been a crowd-pleaser. But Nyquist ran a fever after the Preakness, so I’m glad his peeps showed some horse sense and let him rest.

But if Nyquist had run again and I won, I’d be remembered as “The Horse Who Missed the Triple Crown by 1 ½ Lengths.” That would have pissed me off, so I guess it’s all for the best.

Adele: After the Preakness, I heard your dad Curlin was handing out cigars at Hill ‘n’ Dale between his stud appointments. He called you a “chip off the old hoof.” After you ate Nyquist’s dust in four previous races, he’s proud you finally gave Nyquist a taste of your tail.

Ex: OK, I’ll admit, that felt great. Dad’s my inspiration, and filling his shoes ain’t easy. He was 2007 Horse of the Year, you know.

On the other hand, I did outrun him in the Derby because he came in 3rd. We both won the Preakness. He lost the Belmont by a head to a filly named Rags to Riches. If I end up losing, at least it won’t be to a girl.

Adele: Just watch out for Cherry Wine. He almost smelled victory in the Preakness, and he’s trying again at Belmont. Do you have a strategy?

Ex: Horses don’t do strategy. We leave that sneaky stuff to the jockeys. “Hug the rail or go wide? Hang back or set the pace? Whip or no whip?”

All we want to do is cross the finish line in one piece and get those little maniacs off our backs. You never see horses take racing too seriously. We don’t cry foul if we don’t come in first, or pick a fight with some horse who bumped us. Team mentality is for sled dogs and Clydesdales. We thoroughbreds just want to do our own thing, which is to run like the wind.

Adele: Cats aren’t into teams either, but Max, Roc, and I squabble just about every day. If I had hooves like yours, they’d both be dead.

Ex: You’re pretty tough for a fluffy white kitty. Remind me not to get on your bad side.

Adele: Just don’t step on my tail and you’ll be fine. You’re running again against two other horses I liked, Suddenbreakingnews from the Derby and Stradivari from the Preakness. If they were to place and show right behind you across that finish line, it would be my personal trifecta.

Ex: Thanks, Adele. I’m happy in post position 11, and they say I’m the favorite, so I’ll run this one for my feline fans. Keep your claws crossed!


Gorilla Mom Gets Off Scot-Free

June 7, 2016

By Adele

It comes as no surprise that no charges will be filed against the mother whose 3-year-old son climbed into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, causing an endangered silverback gorilla named Harambe to be shot to death.

Parents have circled the wagons yet again with a verdict that basically says, “Aw, she’s already suffered enough. Didn’t you hear how upset she sounded on the 911 call?” God forbid anyone should ever question a negligent parent’s competence or imply they could do better.

We learned from CBS This Morning that the mother visited the zoo with her son and three daughters, ages 1-7. She was with a friend who also had two children. So, two adults to watch six kids, including at least one infant.

The statement the mother’s family issued (quoted from CBS This Morning) said, in part…

“We are very pleased with the decision. It is what we expected.”

Of course it is. They go on their merry way while the zoo, which has never had a human breach its enclosures before, is now under investigation, and just sucks up its losses in its gorilla breeding program, not to mention the expense of reinforcing the barrier around the gorillas.

The tables turn to make this mother come off like the innocent victim of the zoo. At the very least, she should have been ordered to pay for the new barrier.

The mother was presented in court as a diligent parent whose child “just scampered off” while she turned away for a few seconds. It could happen to anybody, right?

Yes, it could, if you’re so stupid you pop out four kids in seven years, and then drag them to a place full of wild animals before they’re old enough to handle it.

Here’s my solution for these parents: Harnesses and leashes.

If your children can walk but don’t know how to behave in public, put them on leashes so they can drag you wherever they go. Then YOU can take responsibility for protecting them and stop expecting the world to do it for you.


No Justice for Harambe the Gorilla

June 2, 2016

By Adele

The sad end of Harambe the silverback gorilla is like Tatiana the tiger all over again. Humans behave with incredible stupidity and an innocent animal dies for it.

A 3-year-old boy visiting the Cincinnati Zoo wormed his way into the gorilla enclosure, where Harambe, a 17-year-old male found him, became excited, and was shot as he was dragging the child by his foot.

The boy suffered superficial injuries. Harambe is dead. And on the news this morning, we heard that the parents have decided not to sue the zoo. Indeed?

The zoo should not only sue the child’s mother, but she should also face criminal prosecution for reckless endangerment, or whatever they call not having the physical or mental equipment to keep your kids out of potentially deadly situations.

Witnesses reported the mother was debating the 3-year-old about climbing into the gorilla moat while being distracted by her other children.

The zoo says it did the right thing to shoot Harambe, and would do it again. But the zoo never should have been put in the position of having to sacrifice an animal they intended to breed to save his species from extinction. The mother should have rounded up her misbehaving litter and left the zoo immediately.

This isn’t just about Harambe. His death has implications for all his fellow gorillas and the breeding program. This Cosmopolitan article explains that.

When will people stop letting every ignorant, reckless parent who endangers or even kills a child get off with, “Oh, never mind. Nobody’s really to blame. She’s already suffered enough”?

I have no sympathy for that woman or her disobedient brat. He’s lucky to be alive. They both pushed safety precautions past their limits and absolutely NOTHING is being done to see that they don’t do it again somewhere else. Instead, the zoo is being investigated to see if can do better.

We’ll have to pad and wall off the whole planet so morons like this won’t hurt themselves.

When will parents ever face serious consequences for their inability to control or raise children with respect for animals, and it causes the animals’ destruction?


A Cat Gloats Over the Preakness – a Little

May 22, 2016

By Adele

It’s not often I take a victory lap when one of my Triple Crown prognostications pans out, but this time I can’t help it. I totally nailed it.

Yesterday, EXAGGERATOR OUTRAN NYQUIST AND WON THE PREAKNESS!

Before the race, only one of the talking heads on NBC agreed with me. They were all rooting for Nyquist.

OK, I have to admit that Cherry Wine snuck in out of nowhere and actually finished second but, if you’ll review the comments on my previous post and see where I responded to a demand from a Cats Working reader well-known to Roc as “Grumpy,” I boldly predicted that Exaggerator would outrun Nyquist and Stradivari, in that order. And that’s exactly how it went down, with Nyquist and Strad coming in 3rd and 4th.

There’s no doubt about it. I’ve still got the gift. Even if I do say so myself.

I’m doing my best to wrangle an interview with Exaggerator before the Belmont, so stay tuned.

PS: We were all deeply saddened to learn that actor Alan Young died on May 19 at age 96. He was the best friend of our all-time favorite horse, Mister Ed. Fortunately, Karen has the entire 5 ½ seasons of the show on DVD (available on Amazon) so we can get our Ed-and-Wilbur fix whenever we want one. You should try it. Even 50+ years later, Ed is still hilarious and often astute in a timely way.


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