New #FranciscoFriday Shirts

If you follow us on Instagram (and really, why wouldn’t you?), you’re undoubtedly familiar with our weekly tradition of celebrating #FranciscoFriday. Full of sass and tortietude, Francisco is the easiest to spot among our ranks—usually found by Grizzly River Run in DCA.

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Our latest Teeepring campaign features this unforgettable face as well as the pithy bit of advice, “Live every day like #FranciscoFriday.” Available for a limited time, you can order yours at teeepring.com/franciscofriday

For the first time ever, these shirts feature a full-color design. You’ll also be able to choose a hoodie (if you are so inclined) in addition to our old standbys like unisex t-shirts, women’s t-shirts, and long-sleeved tees.

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A Disneyland Cats-mas Carol

Gather ’round, kitties. It’s time to recount that classic holiday tale: A Disneyland Cats-mas Carol.

The tuna were dead, to begin with. There was no doubt about that. The tuna were as dead as a door-nail. Or as dead as some other simile that resonates more with Disney fans. The tuna were as dead as the Skyway. As dead as Rocket Rods. As dead as Superstar Limo. And the cat—ironically named Ebenezer—knew the tuna were dead. That’s the way he liked it.

Ebenezer wasn’t like all the other cats who live here at Disneyland. While the rest of us had grown up to be fiercely independent, Ebenezer believed in the spirit of sharing. Whenever he was presented with a turkey leg or a can of tuna, he ate a few bites and then invited other cats over to take their fair share. In other words, Ebenezer was a dolt. But one Christmas, everything changed.

It was December 24th, and the parks were full of people. The busy season is always a double-edged sword for Disneyland Cats. On the one hand, humans are the worst. But on the other hand, more humans means more scraps of food. Such was the case on this fateful Christmas Eve. Ebenezer had just finished his rounds of raiding the dumpsters behind New Orleans Square, and he had collected all kinds of treats that he was excited to share with the other cats. As he was walking back toward his lair, however, he stumbled across a giant and ethereal can of tuna. The can began to shake, and the ghosts of three tuna emerged.

“Ebeneeeeeeeeeeezer,” they gurgled. And then they began to speak in fish language that no respectable cat could possibly understand. Taken aback, Ebenezer naturally tried to attack the ghostly fishes, but when his paw went right through them, he got angry and moved along. What he didn’t understand as the fishy specters continued their garbled message was that they were telling him he would be visited by three spirits over the next few nights. He could expect the first spirit when the Jungle Cruise skippers fired three shots. Eating just a few bites of food, Ebenezer delivered the rest to his kitty compadres and then nodded off in his favorite corner of Adventureland.

Now, Ebenezer hadn’t understood anything the tuna had uttered, and even if he had, he couldn’t count to three. So it took him completely by surprise when another ghostly shape appeared before him and woke him from his nap. “I am the Ghost of Disneyland Cats Past,” the figure declared. And Ebenezer realized that this cat did look a little familiar. The only difference seemed to be that now this kitty was dead and floating around rather than scampering across the park’s walkways. The ghostly cat grabbed hold of Ebenezer’s scruff and pulled him up the steps of Tarzan’s Treehouse. But as they climbed, everything around them started to morph. The Tarzan touches faded away and the attraction morphed into its former incarnation—complete with the “Swissapolka.”

“We’ve arrived in the past,” meowed the spirit, and with a flick of his tail, he and Ebenezer were suddenly sitting atop an old Skyway bucket. They surveyed a Disneyland that has long been forgotten by most kitties. When they reached the Fantasyland chalet—fully operational as opposed to the abandoned building it has become today—the two cats scampered behind it and came across a small horde of kitties grouped together. At first, it appeared as though the cats were fighting over a fish, but then Ebenezer realized that they were all sharing. How odd a sight it seemed to him, as he was used to being the only cat willing to give up his tuna.

“Notice that none of them look particularly satisfied,” said the spirit. “This was before the days of feeding stations, so scraps from the park (and the occasional rodent) were the only things these cats could eat. No matter how unnatural it was, they were forced to share their fish in order to survive.”

“Seems like a good system to me,” replied Ebenezer. “I always love sharing my fish.”

“You’ve learned nothing!” exclaimed the spirit. “I can’t do anything else to help you, and I’m sending you back to the present. Expect the next spirit when the Small World clock tolls 1:15. Wait until after the parade of the dolls, though. Can’t miss that excitement.”

And suddenly, Ebenezer awoke back in his den. What an odd dream that had been. But he was excited to learn more. Maybe he could even find some delicious scraps of food in Fantasyland that he could share with all his friends. He scampered across the park and settled down in front of It’s a Small World. But since it was only 11:00, he decided to settle in for another nap.

With every chime from the attraction’s clock, Ebenezer grew more restless. At 1:00, he began pacing, and then at 1:15 he watched on bated breath as the dolls came out for their parade. Instead of the usual procession of dolls, however, the clock’s inhabitants had transformed into delicious-looking meats and cheeses. And leading the procession was another ghostly cat.

“I am the Ghost of Disneyland Cats Present,” announced the kitty once the clock had finished chiming. “By the time I’ve finished with you, you’ll see for once and for all how dumb an idea it is to share your tuna.” And the spirit flicked his tail to transport Ebenezer to the back of Critter Country. There, a young cat named Tiny Tim was gathered around some of the scraps Ebenezer had left the previous night, and he was devouring them hungrily.

“Oh boy,” proclaimed Ebenezer. “I never get to see other cats eating my scraps. How happy this makes me!”

“But don’t you understand?” asked the spirit. “You could be enjoying these delicious morsels instead.”

And like clockwork, Tiny Tim began laughing a throaty chuckle. “Stupid Ebenezer,” he guffawed. “He gets all these tasty scraps and then gives them to me. What a dolt!”

Ebenezer was a little taken aback, but he figured that Tiny Tim must be an anomaly. Surely the rest of the cats didn’t feel that way about him.

“I’ve shown you everything I can,” said the spirit. “You can expect one more ghost momentarily.” And he disappeared.

Suddenly, there was a chill in the air, and a third ghostly cat appeared. He snuck up behind Ebenezer and hissed softly, but he refused to speak.

“Are you the Ghost of Disneyland Cats Yet to Come?” asked Ebenezer with some trepidation. The spirit merely nodded and flicked his tail once more.

Ebenezer was transported to a land he didn’t recognize. Figures of Olaf seemed to stare at him from everywhere, and it became clear that the Disneyland of the future was entirely dedicated to Frozen.

Suddenly, an enormous cat emerged from the shadows. He was so fat that his feet barely touched the ground, and he half-walked, half-rolled across the walkway. A flicker in his eye made Ebenezer recognize him as “Tiny” Tim—but he was far from tiny now. The cat lumbered over to a trash can and knocked it over, devouring every morsel he could find inside.

“But spirit,” asked Ebenezer, “how did Tiny Tim get to grow so large?” The ghost didn’t respond. He flicked his tail once more, and the duo found themselves in the pet cemetery outside the Haunted Mansion. A fresh tombstone had been recently erected, and Ebenezer hesitated to approach it. Once he got close enough to read the inscription, he saw that it said:

Here lies Ebenezer. He shared all his tuna because he was a dolt, and then he died of starvation.

Ebenezer started yowling, and the ghost behind him laughed ominously. And then as the sounds rose to a climax, Ebenezer woke up with a start. He was back in his den.

It was morning. And he was alive. Ebenezer was thrilled! He ran around in circles and even attracted the attention of some passing guests, but he didn’t care. Making a mad dash toward Critter Country, he saw Tiny Tim—small once more—starting to go to town on the scraps he’d left there. Ebenezer ran at him full-tilt and bowled him over. He took the scraps for himself and carried them back to his den.

From that day on, Ebenezer never tried to share his food with the other cats. He’d learned his lesson, and he was no longer a dolt.

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Francisco’s Gender Crisis

What do you think the most frequent comment we get here at the Cats of Disneyland would be? “Gee, you’re hilarious”? “I just love your orange coat”? “You should be made a Disney Legend”?

No. In fact, what we have heard literally hundreds of times is, “You know Francisco is female, right? All torties are.” After ignoring you all for years, we’re finally going to comment on it this statement.

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First of all, no, not ALL torties are female. About 1 in 3000 is male, and I’m really hoping none of you have gotten close enough to Francisco to check.

Second, we are all spayed and neutered here, so gender really isn’t something we think much about. It’s all the same when you don’t have any of the equipment to get kittens made.

Third (and most importantly), we’re cats! I’ve been the subject of much scrutiny among my fellows for learning human language and communicating with you at all, so you should really consider yourselves lucky. If you must know, Francisco’s given name is “mrrowl mew meow meow purr,” but I thought that was a little long, so I shortened it during translation.

You might notice that we avoid gender-specific pronouns whenever writing about Francisco on our Instagram posts, but that’s as good as you’re going to get. #FranciscoFriday will live on without being changed and I know that Francisco would appreciate it if you’d stop commenting on his/her gender. You’re going to give him/her a complex.

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Throwback Thursday: Matterhorn Christmas Star

Do you remember the 1960s and ’70s, when Disney would erect an enormous star atop the Matterhorn each year during the holiday season? Me neither—because I wasn’t born then. But I was able to find a picture of one of my orange cat ancestors who had scaled the Matterhorn to gaze up at the star. Happy Throwback Thursday!

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Of course, the Matterhorn has long been one of my favorite attractions to hang out inside. Not only do we play our annual March Meowness tournament on the basketball court, but I can never get enough of lounging around alongside the track and meowing ominously (the acoustics in there are great, and I can really freak out groups of unsuspecting humans).

You might think that I would be scared of Harold, the snowman, but he’s actually not so bad once you get him to stop flashing his red eyes and menacingly waving his arms. I once had a great discussion with him about literature. As it turns out, he is not at all well-read.

As for the Matterhorn during the holidays, certain Imagineers keep hinting that the star may make a return someday. Until that particular Christmas season comes, however, I’ll just have to take on the role myself—because you’re crazy if you don’t think there’s a star atop the mountain when I decide to grace it with my presence.

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What I’m Thankful For

Humans! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and it has me thinking about all the things I, myself, have to be thankful for. In many ways, I really do live a charmed life here at Disneyland—it is the Happiest Place on Earth after all. But even I can get complacent every once in a while and take it all for granted, so here I go counting my blessings:

  1. I’m truly the most adorable cat around.
  2. I’m truly the smartest creature I know.
  3. My sense of humor is out of this world.
  4. Everyone loves and fawns over me.
  5. I have well-coiffed fur.
  6. I never have to pay for admission to Disneyland.
  7. I can eat all the best scraps out of dumpsters.
  8. I’ve mastered the best ways to steal food from humans in the parks.
  9. I can ride as many attractions as I want after-hours without waiting.
  10. I have unlimited access to the Court of Angels without being a Club 33 member.
  11. I have unlimited access to Club 33 without being a Club 33 member.
  12. Disneyland is my litter box.
  13. I can always collect treasures from underneath the Space Mountain track.
  14. When I meow ominously on the Matterhorn, it really freaks people out.
  15. The animals at Big Thunder Ranch know they have to do my bidding.
  16. Doors that are marked “off limits” have no power over me.
  17. Our feeding stations are always well stocked.
  18. I speak several different languages (mostly I can just say “keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the car” in both Spanish and English).
  19. I’ve been to hell and back (on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride)
  20. No matter how many times I look into the eyes of Mara, I never die.
  21. My Toy Story Mania score is spectacular considering I don’t have opposable thumbs.
  22. I’m thankful for tuna.
  23. I’m thankful for turkey legs.
  24. I’m thankful for Plaza Inn fried chicken.
  25. I’m still thankful for tuna.
  26. I’m thankful for other fishes.
  27. I’m thankful for other tasty snacks.
  28. I’m thankful for rodents.
  29. I’m thankful for lizards.
  30. Last and least, I guess I’m thankful for you humans. Not humans in general—certainly not humans in general. But those of you who follow my blog, my Twitter account, my Instagram, my Facebook page, my Pinterest, etc. are… okay. And that’s quite the compliment.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Now give me some turkey.

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Cat Profile: Buford

We’ve had a pretty crazy November in terms of media attention. You might have seen the article about our Instagram that was featured on the LAist blog. Or maybe you read the recent piece about our colony on VICE (of course, we weren’t fans of that article because they didn’t even contact us for an interview). Several thousand of you have also apparently found our page via some Facebook link, and we’d love to know who’s been posting about us if you want to leave a comment below.

In honor of our ever-growing fame, here is another lovely Cat Profile for you to enjoy. The picture featured here was sent in by Twitter follower @TheDLBro.

  • Name: Buford
  • Breed: Domestic Shorthair
  • Favorite Hangout: Critter Country
  • Hobbies: Genealogy, Decoupage, Sudoku
  • Favorite Ride: Splash Mountain (only when it’s dry for refurbishment)
  • Interesting Fact: Attended an open call to be cast as Alfalfa in The Little Rascals, but was turned away because he forgot to bring a résumé.

You might have noticed if you read my tweets that I’m a little bitter that cats aren’t blessed with opposable thumbs. It’s one aspect of humanity that doesn’t seem like it would be horrible. Well, another feature that I suppose it could be nice to have is eyebrows. Mostly because I would use them to accentuate my glare. Mind you, Buford knows all about eyebrows. He’s a master manipulator when it comes to using them. People see Buford and melt (“aww, look at that cat—he looks so saaad”). Then they offer him scraps of their turkey legs, no questions asked. A regular in Critter Country, Buford actually got his name from one of the cat elders who had been around in the days of the Country Bear Jamboree. If you don’t remember the lyrics to the song, it went “Mama, don’t whip little Buford. I think you should shoot him instead.” As you can see, it’s no wonder why he always looks a little concerned.

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My Favorite Haunts: Main Gate Pumpkins

For today’s special Halloween edition of My Favorite Haunts, I’d like to highlight a special hangout that I only get to occupy for two months out of every year.

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Main Gate Pumpkins

While I love being an orange cat, there are certain situations when my brightly colored fur makes it difficult to blend in as well as I’d like. The obvious exception, of course, is Halloween Time. Since someone decided several years ago that the official Halloween colors would be orange and purple(?), this season presents all sorts of opportunities for me to be camouflaged by my surroundings.

One of the best places to hide out is atop the pumpkins that adorn the main Disneyland entrance. The material they are made out of is both firm and delightfully squishy, and I have a wide array of options for places where I can take naps.

If I’m in a grumpy mood, for instance, I can sleep atop Mickey or Minnie in a constant (albeit fruitless) effort to tone down their incessant happiness. If I’m in a mischievous mood, I have TWO dogs to choose between when selecting a pumpkin to occupy (Goofy and Pluto), and I can can poke and prod them all I want without any fear of repercussion. Finally, if the humans are showing any signs of noticing my perch, I can always hide out on Donald’s hat—the top of which is really out of view from those on the ground.

Of course, Holiday Time brings with it a slew of new spots I can enjoy (everyone knows I love climbing Christmas trees), let’s observe a moment of silence to honor all the pumpkins that are about to be put away or thrown away as their season comes to a sudden end tomorrow. I may not be wild about eating pumpkin-flavored treats like you humans are, but I think we can all agree that these gourds do a great service to help the majestic color of orange really stand in the spotlight.

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“I Love Feral Cats” T-Shirts

Hello humans! It’s been a while since I posted on my blog, but I’m back to tell you about how the Cats of Disneyland are planning to celebrate National Feral Cat Day.

In case you haven’t heard about the most important holiday of the year, National Feral Cat Day is celebrated on October 16th. It’s meant to help spread awareness about the majesty of feral cat colonies, and especially the benefits of a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program like the one practiced here at Disneyland.

As you might know if you’ve read my FAQ and/or About pages, there are a lot of misperceptions about us that get spread around the Internet. Well, to help combat those rumors, we’ve started a new Teespring campaign that helps promote the truth. Educate your friends, family, and neighbors about the actual symbiotic relationship between the Cats of Disneyland and the resort itself.

The front of the shirt reads:

Fiction:
Every night after closing, Disneyland releases 200 cats into the park to help keep the rodent population under control.

 Fact:
Disneyland is home to approximately 200 feral cats who prowl the parks and hunt rodents. Disney feeds, neuters, and cares for the health of the cats in a perfect symbiotic relationship.

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And on the back, it proudly declares your love for feral cats.

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If you missed our last Teespring campaign, here’s how it works. These shirts are crowdsourced, so we have to reach a goal in order for ANY shirts to be printed. We set the goal a little lower this time, but we still need to reach 30 orders for the campaign to ship. And there’s a deadline: 7:00pm PDT on October 16th (aka Feral Cat Day).

We listened to your feedback from the last campaign, and these new shirts are available in a wider variety of colors and styles (including women’s cut tees). Find the one that you love and wear it with pride.

Here’s the link to the campaign:

teespring.com/dlferal

Help correct some misperceptions about our lovely colony by ordering today!

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Throwback Thursday: Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship

I’ll often hear humans lamenting that they were “born (fill in the blank number) years too late” because they relate better to the nostalgia of the past than they do to the present day. I always thought that was a load of hogwash until I realized that I, too, wish I had been alive in Disneyland between 1955 and 1982. It’s true, I wouldn’t have had access to Twitter, but I could have enjoyed an ENTIRE RESTAURANT DEDICATED TO TUNA!!

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As you can see in the photo above, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant was a veritable mecca for Disneyland Cats during the park’s first few decades. I’m not even joking when I say that the kitties of yore could have enjoyed scraps of uneaten tuna burgers, tuna sandwiches, and hot tuna pies.

I recently came across an old tuna can wrapper that must have been buried since the attraction/restaurant was still in business. On it, a kitty had scrawled the following message (you’ll pardon the archaic language. Remember, this document was written several decades ago):

“It hast been a glorious day, for I hath been prowling below decks on yon Chicken of the Sea Pirate Shippe. Discovereth four old cans of tuna did I, and I feasted until nary remained. Huzzah! Meow!”

While the ship sat in it’s Fantasyland location, the cats could often be found on the poop deck. No, that isn’t a nautical term—it’s just what we’d call the deck on which we did our business. Once Skull Rock was added next to the restaurant, our ancestors would often take whatever food they managed to steal back to the skull’s left eye and feel free to dig in without being subjected to judgmental human stares.

Today, the location where the Chicken of the Sea ship once stood is occupied by Dumbo the Flying Elephant. I’m all for flying in circles on a pachyderm, but I think we can agree that no elephant is ever going to hold a candle to a tuna-scented Disneyland classic.

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The Disneyland Mews: August 30, 2014

It’s been a pretty eventful week, and this holiday weekend is set to be very busy here at the resort, so I thought I’d update you all on the Disneyland Mews.

Mary Poppins’ 50th Birthday Party
In case it passed without your realizing it, Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins premiering back in 1964, so everyone’s favorite nanny celebrated with an exclusive birthday bash after the parks closed that evening. Fantasyland came to life with chimney sweeps dancing on the roof of the castle—oddly, very few of them were able to step in time. Hordes of penguins also took a spin (or several) on the King Arthur Carrousel. Many of them got so dizzy that they threw up their dinners. And since they had eaten fish, it provided quite the treat for the cats who were lurking nearby. As for Mary Poppins herself, she alternated between doling out spoonfuls of sugar and prompting herself to stay awake.

Disneyland Half-Marathon Weekend PSA
It’s that time of year again—when thousands of you decide that it’s a good idea to run around the parks for no good reason. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that the benefits of running pale in comparison to the benefits of napping. While running leaves you exhausted and sweaty, napping leaves you well-rested and cozy. The odds of getting injured are also much lower when napping than they are when running. One time, I rolled off the edge of the dock during a nap next to the Jungle Cruise and got soaked, but I’m pretty sure that’s the worst possible scenario for what can happen to you while napping. Running, on the other hand, must be extremely painful (judging by the expressions on your faces as you make your way past my lair). In summary, if any of you runners decide to forgo your spot in the races this weekend and take up napping instead, you have my full support. Napping is endorsed 100% by the Cats of Disneyland.

Haunted Mansion Vacancies
This is just a reminder that the Haunted Mansion continues to be vacant until Halloween Time officially gets underway, so if any of you cats reading this are looking for a place to hold your book club meetings or stash a few spare rodent carcasses that you don’t feel like eating right away, the Mansion is an excellent place to do that. Just remember that the awful ghost dog, Zero, will be returning right before the Mansion reopens for the season, so make sure that you have fully vacated the premises before then unless you want to be chased by a floating sheet with an orange nose.

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