Jeff de Boer
Jeff de Boer

Protect Your Cat With a Suit of Armor

Jeff de Boer
Jeff de Boer

In case you haven't seen it yet: suits of armor for your pets. Artist Jeff de Boer has meticulously crafted protective ensembles for cats, and—to even the playing field—mice. He draws his ideas from different time periods and countries, including Edo period Japan and Medieval England. He's even made a futuristic rocket mouse. These marvelous suits are substantial works of art; the cat armor can take up to 200 hours to create.

Boer first started making the suits while attending Alberta College of Art and Design. The artist had an extensive knowledge of armor, so he created a cat suit in his sculpture class. Feeling he could do better, Boer sought to make real armor. Thanks to his major in jewelry design, he had access to all the necessary tools.

If you're looking to purchase one of these works, you will need a big wallet and a lot of patience. Boer does not frequently sell his work but when he does, it costs as much as $25,000.

Jeff de Boer

Boer has never put a mouse in the armor, but he has put one of his cats inside and has "the scars to prove it." 

Jeff de Boer

You can buy a book filled with his art here, or like his Facebook here.

Jeff de Boer

Jeff de Boer

[h/t: BoredPanda.com]

Watch Koko the Gorilla Meet Her New Pet Kittens

Koko the gorilla passed away at the age of 46 this week. Though she was best known for her use of sign language, her love of cats is what made her a media darling.

In 1983, the western lowland gorilla reportedly told trainer Penny Patterson that she wanted a cat. Patterson and her fellow researchers at The Gorilla Foundation supported this idea, hoping that caring for a cat might prepare Koko for motherhood.

They gave Koko a lifelike stuffed animal and after she ignored that gift, she was given a gray kitten for her birthday in July 1984. Koko rejoiced. She named the cat All Ball and carried him around like a baby. All Ball got out of Koko's cage and was hit by a car just a few months later. Trainer Penny Patterson shared the news with Koko, who, Patterson said, began crying. “Sleep cat,” she reportedly signed.

For Koko's 44th birthday in 2015, Patterson let her pick out two new pets from a litter of kittens. The result was as cute as you might expect.

For more Koko videos, follow kokoflix on Youtube.

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iStock
New Health-Monitoring Litter Box Could Save You a Trip to the Vet
iStock
iStock

Unsure if your cat is sick or just acting aloof per usual? A “smart toilet” for your fur baby could help you decide whether a trip to the vet is really necessary.

Enter the Pet Care Monitor: More than a litter box, the receptacle is designed to analyze cat urine for health issues, The Asahi Shimbun in Tokyo reports. Created by the Japan-based Sharp Corporation—better known for consumer electronics such as TVs, mobile phones, and the world's first LCD calculator—the product will be available for purchase on the company’s website starting July 30 (although shipping limitations may apply).

Sensors embedded in the monitor can measure your cat’s weight and urine volume, as well as the frequency and duration of toilet trips. That information is then analyzed by an AI program that compares it to data gleaned from a joint study between Sharp Corp and Tottori University in Japan. If there are any red flags, a report will be sent directly to your smartphone via an application called Cocoro Pet. The monitor could be especially useful for keeping an eye on cats with a history of kidney and urinary tract problems.

If you have several cats, the company offers sensors to identify each pet, allowing separate data sets to be collected and analyzed. (Each smart litter box can record the data of up to three cats.)

The Pet Care Monitor costs about $225, and there’s an additional monthly fee of roughly $3 for the service. Sharp Corporation says it will continue developing health products for pets, and it has already created a leg sensor that can tell if a dog is nervous by measuring its heart and respiratory rates.

[h/t The Asahi Shimbun]

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