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Showing posts from January, 2009

Cat Who Is Jealous Of Cats

People believe that a cat who is jealous of cats that he/she/it lives with may attack them or fight with them. Some people believe that a cat can become jealous of a cat that is perhaps favored by a human. It is hard to tell if this is real jealousy or just part of the peeking order. I think it has been established that cats feel emotions. Vets refer to depressed cats, for example. And cats can look depressed or happy (this is subtly indicated in facial expression and demeanor). These are basic emotions but jealousy is a high grade emotion that has not yet been established to happen with cats. That is not to say it doesn't happen. When cat keepers say, "My cat is jealous, she chases the boy cat all over the place", they probably mean she is the alpha cat asserting dominance. But cats are not pack animals (as dogs are) so this is not long term behavior necessarily. A cat may hiss and chase another cat in the same household but this may happen initially when a new cat is

Kitten Health

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Kitten health is particularly important to both the cat breeder and the buyer (and most importantly to the kitten her/himself and the mother cat). In this post I look at the health of a kitten in relation to what to look for in a healthy kitten. This is Nellie Murmurs, a Ragdoll cat being checked over by vet Willemijn. The cat breeder is Tom Poes. He takes good photographs too - photo by Tom Poes _____________________________________________ Nose: cool, damp, no nasal discharge. Eyes: Bright, no prominent third eyelid, eyes straight ahead (no cross eyes - Siamese predisposed), blue iris and white coated cats can be congenitally deaf (see deaf cat ). Ears: Clean and smell sweet (have a sniff). Watch for dark brown waxy discharge ( ear mites but these can be treated successfully). Stomach: Not swollen (swollen might mean poor nutrition and/or worms). Skin: Clean skin around anus and vulva. Redness or a discharge may indicate an infection, worms, diarrhea (a symptom of a

Dog Like Bengal Cats

Dog Like Bengal Cats is something we hear about. I don't read about Persian cats for example being dog like or an American Shorthair . If you're going to hear about dog like characteristics of purebred cats it is always the wild cat hybrids. The reason why the wild cat hybrids are sometimes dog like is because they are ostensibly more intelligent and therefore more responsive to training. But are dogs more intelligent than cats. No... so I don't think it is really a question of wild cat hybrids being more intelligent than other cats (and therefore easier to train) but that they are more alert, require more stimulation and therefore more interaction with human companions. This makes them more receptive to being trained or more importantly more receptive to human involvement. Dogs are pack animals and therefore more involved with their human master. The human being the alpha dog. Dog like Bengal cats mimic this behavior to some degree (but lesser degree). The person in t

Feline Chronic Dehydration

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Feline chronic dehydration can be due to prolonged vomiting, prolonged diarrhea. Or during illness it may be due to fever and not drinking enough. Dehydration involves the loss of water and electrolytes, which are minerals (e.g. sodium, potassium etc.). The skin loses its elasticity. For example, the skin at the back of the neck will not spring back into place but stay where it is, if pulled gently. The gums will not look wet (glisten) but be dry. Treatment is, as expected, rehydration by administering fluids and the prevention of fluid loss. Treatment should be prompt (always advisable in fact). For mild dehydration simply drinking more will suffice. If the cat won't drink, an electrolyte solution by bottle (baby bottle) or with a syringe can be given (injected gently into the mouth between the cheek pouch and the back teeth). Kitten being fed wet food by syringe - photo by Tom Poes - the cat is a Ragdoll . Pedialyte Oral Electrolyte Maintenance Solution, Unflavored, Case o

Feline Hypothermia Treatment

In the very cold weather there may be a time when feline hypothermia treatment needs to be given at home as an emergency. Prolonged exposure to cold can force a cat's body temperature down to levels that cause illness and worse. Getting wet is the most likely cause. Sometimes I worry about a stray cat that I call Timmy. He comes in for warmth, food and TLC, which he gets but he spends the cold nights outside and he comes in sopping wet sometimes. Feline Hypothermia can also occur after an operation (after a long anesthetic). The symptoms are listlessness preceded by violent shivering. There follows collapse and coma. The rectal temperature is below 97 degrees F. Drs Carslon and Giffin recommend the following Feline Hypothermia treatment: -- Wrap cat in blanket and bring her into the house -- If the cat is wet a warm bath is indicated. The skin should be dried thoroughly afterward with towels. Hair driers are unsafe as they can cause burns. -- Apply warm water packs (the tempe

Stop Other Cats Using My Cats Cat Flap

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How to stop other cats using my cat's cat flap ? The fact that this is very common is an indication of both cat and human behavior. A well loved well fed cat living with a human would be disinclined to wander into another person's home (but I guess it still might happen). However, a poorly cared for, neglected and hungry cat or a plain stray or feral cat is likely to use our cat flap to find food and even some warmth. The root cause of the problem is mainly ours. Poppy with a magnetic collar that has picked up a piece of metal, a Vaseline bottle top! Photo by Thorin There are only three practical possible solutions, the last of which is the best: -- find the person who keeps the cat who is coming in and see if they can look after the cat better. This is unlikely to work even if you can find the owner as people don't like to be told how to do things. -- Remove the cat flap and set up a routine in which your cat tells you when she wants to go out and come in. Mine does

Ionizers Hurt Cats

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Do ionizers hurt cats ? Air purifiers often (always?) have a setting for sending out negative ions into the room. This is part of the air cleaning process. The purpose of negative goes beyond that, it seems. There are claimed to be a number of health benefits for humans including accelerating the delivery of oxygen to our cells and tissues. Ions also help to remove dust, pollen etc from the air. They apparently make the dust particles fall out of suspension in the air. The dust falls to the floor. You can make smoke fall to the floor as well. Can I smell ozone? Nah....Jeep sniffing the air - photo by abbyladybug But it has been said that the ionizer setting on an air purifier should not be used if you have a cat. How can that be, I wonder, as a cat's anatomy is very similar to ours. We know that because cats are often used in animal experiments to test products designed for humans (I personally find that unacceptable). I am told that there is a lot of stuff on the internet w

The Modern Cat

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The Modern cat has to integrate into a changing world and that means dealing with more people due to population growth and less time for people to care for their cat companions. This translates into two changes that affect cats; one well established and the other a new idea from the land of new ideas, Japan. Cat Cafe, Japan - photo by Helen K The first is the growing trend for full-time indoor cats. With greater urbanization and accompanying increase in hazards for domestic cats it makes sense to keep our cats indoors permanently. This makes the environment much safer and life therefore longer for our cats. But, the big but, is whether this is better for the cat if the cat is not stimulated sufficiently in what could be a dull and unnatural environment. What is better a dull long life or a short exciting one? There is no clean answer. However, there is a way of creating a long and reasonably exciting life and that is to put effort, finance and time into creating an enclosed space

Buried with Your Cat

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Being buried with your cat is illegal in the State of Washington, it seems (this is after your death by the way!). Which brings to mind a host of thoughts about how we would like be put to rest on our death. Lots of people are cremated (sorry if this is a bit morbid but people think of these things, at least I do) and they cremate their cats too. I would like my cremated cats to be with me on my death. My first cat who died about 15 years ago was cremated and is with me in an urn. When my current cat passes over the rainbow bridge she will be cremated and join my first cat in the urn and so on. When I go to join them I insist that I will be next to them in that urn and the ashes mixed together and kept in an urn. Pet Cemetery in Ireland -- something different. It would be nice for some people to be in the same cemetery and in the same box as their cats. Photo by Ivan JRG But back to being buried next to your cat or your cat being buried next to you - I am surprised that is is ille

Cat Licenses

The concept of cat licenses is occasionally discussed as a possible solution to what could be called "the feral cat problem". I would rather call it "the irresponsible people problem". Anyway, the Australians have a particular dislike of feral cats (not all Australians, but certainly some of the politicians). They are keen to solve a problem that they created and don't know how. So, they resort to shooting them. Pretty basic I guess and a sure sign of three things (a) a lack of imagination and understanding of the problem (b) a cruel streak (c) desperation. See Ground Shooting of Feral Cats Bengal Cat Shot in Australia Savannah cat ban in Australia Well, the local authority at that well known place, Alice Springs, decided to institute cat licenses to attempt to better manage cat "ownership". A brave effort but the problem is people don't want to bother to register. Obviously registration is voluntary. And that tells us why it is unlikely to

Chester Cheetah

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Found this nice video on drawing Chester Cheetah . The artist is a young guy (girl?) who has talent. he wants sponsorship for college. Give him the money! Anyway back to Chester. First, he's a cat and we do cats on this website. Yes sir. Chester Cheetah is (was?) an advertising mascot for Cheetos cheesy snacks. I don't think I've ever tried them. Maybe I have once or twice -- nice! In the adverts, Chester Cheetah insists that other cheese snacks "ain't nothin' but fluff" and is constantly doing his utmost to get hold of a bag of those cheesy Cheetos. He has chased a lorry full of 'em on a motorcycle and failed once again (a manhole got in the way). The single minded Chester is massively hip, which comes across very clearly in the drawing in the video. The cool dark glasses. Chester also wears red trunks and white sneakers with an orange spot on the side. Chester Cheetah began appearing in adverts in January 1989. In the real world Cheetahs genera

Stone Cougar Cat

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The Stone Cougar cat is a rare domestic cat. This cat is a cross between the domestic cat and the wild Jungle cat ( F. chaus ). The cat is therefore a wildcat hybrid. This is a still from YouTube video showing (apparently) Stone Cougar kittens. The video is by neogrotesque . I have given a link to the person's YouTube "channel" (webpage at YouTube) in thanks. The video cannot be embedded. I can't confirm whether they really are cats of this breed.  The idea behind this proposed cat breed follows the path of other wildcat/domestic cat hybrids such as the well known Bengal and the Savannah cats, namely to create a cat that resembles a wild cat but which is a domestic cat. In this case the wild cat that is the "model" is the Cougar , Puma or Mountain Lion (different names for the same wild cat - also see Florida Cougar ).  The foundation cats (early generation, F1) are 50% domestic and 50% Jungle Cat. The appearance of a Stone Cougar cat should be co

The Future of Cat Breeding?

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Can we see a part of the future of cat breeding by observing what has happened to the Kennel Club in Great Britain? The Kennel Club has had to change the breed standards of 209 of its registered dog breeds as a result of a BBC program ( Pedigree Dogs Exposed ) that claimed that the club encouraged the breeding of unhealthy dogs through misdirected breed standards and judging at shows (including the biggest show of all, Crufts) that focused on appearance over health and temperament. The program led to loss of sponsorship forcing the club to give way and change what was an ingrained practice established over decades. This has come as a major shock to the club and more particularly the various dog clubs and breed committees affiliated to or working on behalf of the Kennel Club. The committee members are often traditionalists. They have been doing what they do for generations. They became blind, I would argue, to what they were actually doing, focusing on the wrong thing, appearance, fo

Cats in Cold Weather

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Cats in cold weather , if they are outdoor cats, can get into difficulties associated with the cold. Here's some brief examples: Going in and out from warm to very cold can, it is thought, raise the potential for catching a cold and cats get 'em just like us. Cat on Ice -- DoBe not sure about ice -- photo by yeimaya Cats if locked out will seek warmth. That could be under a recently parked car or actually in the engine compartment - very dangerous. People say we should bang on the car before starting off in very cold weather, to frighten off any cat inside. Roads are salted in icy weather. Fine, but not too fine for the humble domestic cat as the salt and perhaps other chemicals used to de-ice roads gets picked up in between the toes and on the paws. This then gets licked off and into the cat, which can cause health problems. Sometimes salt is not used as it is too expensive. Substitutes could be more toxic to cats. Cats with a single coat ( see cat hair ) such as some m

Cats Lick Plastic Bags

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Why do some cats lick plastic bags ? This is potentially dangerous as cats also like to crawl into spaces and play and that could lead to suffocation. Ideally, cats should not have access to plastic bags . Clearly if the bag tastes good to a cat that makes it potentially more dangerous! Milo likes plastic bags. He might just like playing in them. It could be as straight forward as that. Photo by Malingering What is in or on the bag that makes it attractive to lick? This is a hard one to crack. Plastic bags are usually made of polyethylene, which is made from ethylene. The bags are pretty much just that except for some lubricants used in manufacture. It is hard to see what is attractive to lick if the product is plastic. After all it shouldn't taste like food. However, the other type of "plastic bag" is biodegradable and is made of starch. The starch is obtained from corn or potatoes and converted to lactic acid, which can be polymerized into biodegradable plastic call

Cat Welfare in the USA

Cat welfare in the USA is not in bad shape on the face of it. More, lots more, though, can be done. There are too many feral, stray cats. Too many unnecessary deaths of innocent and unloved cats. Far too much declawing. The almost automatic declawing of domestic cats indicates a deep rooted misunderstanding of the human/domestic cat relationship, which I find deeply disturbing. Lots of people support HSUS and PETA. And lots don't like the way that they operate. Do you think these organizations should have a voice that influences the new government of Barak Obama? Well, we know how the President-elect likes to be in touch with the mood and feelings of the people. He has a website on which you can vote the above point. A cat breeder or someone who dislikes the animal rights movement has "petitioned" the President-elect with this ainimal welfare vote. It argues that the powers of HSUS and PETA should be limited. Do you agree? President-elect Citizens Briefing Book - Anima

Cat Breeders and Animal Rights

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Sarah Palin and dead bear, sport hunted. Photo: smiteme Cat breeders and animal rights activists are really the two sides of the same coin or they should be. But you wouldn't believe it the way they attack each other. Cat breeders should (and most are) sensitive towards animals. They care about their cats. They grant their cats lots of rights. They are, in one sense, animal rights people. However, although I am not against cat breeders I don't like they way that some tend to brand people who fight for animal rights, "AR extremists" (Animal Rights extremists). Some cat breeders tend to brand all people who fight for animal rights as extremists. It seems to be some sort of defense mechanism. Breeders sometimes feel under attack from AR people and defend themselves by insinuating that animal rights people are "extremists", meaning unbalanced people of criminal intent thereby insulting them and giving the impression that they are not worth listening to.

Robot Cat

I've just seen the robot cat and it's the end of the feral cat problem!! Just joking but it may have an impact in that direction. This is a typical piece of clever Japanese robotics and at what should be a reasonable price when it is released in July 2009. The cat is called the 'Yume-Neko Venus', or 'Dream Cat Venus' apparently. I'm not going to waffle about the cat because you can see it in the video: You know, a robot cat will no doubt satisfy a lot of people who would otherwise have bought or adopted a real cat. This is certainly the case in relation to Christmas buying of cats (the short term irresponsible type of buying). Lets say it takes off and does really well as I think it will. How will it impact the world of the real domestic cat? Will the impact be good or bad for the cat? Well, it would seem to cut two ways. Initially, it would mean less adoptions from rescue centers. This would mean (should that happen) more euthanasia, tragically. Yet in

More Cat Cruelty

More cat cruelty in the UK. A novel way to kill kittens. Kittens in fact that the person concerned just bought. This person who lives near St. Albans, Hertfordshire (a place where I have an apartment that I let), allegedly (he/she has been charged by the police so the evidence must be reasonable) smashed the kittens on the car's steering wheel. They suffered broken bones (surprised?) and died. The event was witnessed, apparently. That is all I have read about the awful act - more cat cruelty. If he is prosecuted and convicted it will probably happen under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. See the penalties here: Imprisonment and/or Fine . View Larger Map

Cats Early Neutering

"Reasons we do not do early altering: First, FIP can be "triggered" at an early age and even before a kitten is sold at 12 weeks. In their new home, an apparently healthy kitten can later begin to decline at about 8 months of age but the triggers to produce the disease actually occured prior to 3 months of age. Some believe that 3 triggers within a 30 day period can result in FIP. Some triggers are: 1) early weaning; 2) vaccines; 3) poor quality food; 4) change of environment; 5) early alterning. Kittens go through enough stress without the additional stress of altering. Second, kittens need to develop trust in humans. To take them away from their mother, put them into a vet clinic for the day, leave them to go through fear, stress, anesthesia and pain seems not only cruel but a break in that trust. Third, we believe hormones are what results in males looking like males, and females looking like females. This is why we suggest altering at about 7 months of age.

Travelling Bengal Cats

"I’m so sorry to hear about your kitties fear in the car. My Bengals all truly love riding in the car and start running ahead of us to the door when we load out, but we do have a pound kitty that stressed badly when we first started taking him on rv trips. Poor baby would dig and dig in the litterbox, his feet would sweat leaving puddles where ever he stepped and when we went over wolf creek pass he even threw up. He’s adjusted with time and travel but I did talk to my vet about what might help his situation. He wrote down for me that I could give pound kitty Smokey (10 to 12 lbs), Dramamine (12.5 mg – one to three times daily) or Bonine (5 mg – once daily). He felt the Bonine would be the better drug, but Dramamine is available over the counter almost everywhere. We’ve never needed to use the drugs as we’ve traveled enough that he’s worked through the worst of it, so you might want to visit with your vet to see if it would be appropriate for your Bengal. I know my vet told

If I Didn't Have a Dog or Cat

If I Didn't Have a Dog. . . or a Cat . . . I could walk around the yard barefoot in safety. My house could be carpeted instead of tiled and laminated.All flat surfaces, clothing, furniture, and cars would be free of hair. When the doorbell rings, it wouldn't sound like a kennel.When the doorbell rings, I could get to the door without wading through fuzzy bodies who beat me there. I could sit on the couch and my bed the way I want, without taking into consideration how much space several fur bodies would need to get comfortable.I would have money and no guilt to go on a real vacation. I would not be on a first-name basis with 6 veterinarians, as I put their yet unborn grandkids through college.The most used words in my vocabulary would not be: out, sit, down, come, no, stay, and leave him/her/it ALONE. My house would not be cordoned off into zones with baby gates or barriers. I would not talk 'baby talk'. 'Eat your din din'. 'Yummy yummy for the tummy

Cat Buyers

How many cat buyers of cats could say that their vets want to give 5 or 6 different vaccines, spay or neuter and declaw etc., a few days after the kitten arrives in it's new home. Does this happen fairly frequently? Are some vets money hungry? Is the situation out of control? Is the recent recession making things worse? Finally, are vets truly concerned about improving animal health or making money or something in between. Doctors take an oath to act in the best interest of people. Solicitors in England are obliged to act in the interest of the client and in default can be "struck off" (prevented from practicing). Are animals and cats in a more vulnerable position? Should there be better control over vets? Cat buyers should ask questions. Declawing is out, out, out. Vaccinations are sometimes unnecessary and can result in damaging the health of cats. See: Are Cats Hurt by Commercial Food and Vaccines and Cat Vaccination Recommendations .

Helmi and Ken Flick

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Here's a picture of Helmi and Ken Flick busy at work that I just found on my camera that I had forgotten that I had, which I like a lot. OK, technically the quality is poor because the ambient lighting was poor and the camera cheap! That's my excuse anyway. But the picture shows the dynamic nature of Ken's cat wrangling and Helmi's focus and concentration. And the photo has a nice, almost theatrical feel about it. It's like being at the circus with Ken Flick the ringmaster! The little object on top of Helmi's camera is not a flash, it is a trigger for the flash lights above, behind and to the left and right of the cat that is diligently obeying Ken's tease. To see more try these links: Cat Photography with Ken and Helmi Flick More on Helmi and Ken at the Waxahachie Cat Show Helmi Flick Cat Photography About the famous cat photographer, Helmi Flick Helmi and Ken Flick to Home Page

Best Water For Cats

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The best water for cats is pure "energized", alkaline and toxin-free, so say those that know but are they right? And what is this kind of water? It certainly isn't the tap water in the United States. I am not sure about the UK or other countries but the situation in Europe is probably broadly similar. And it isn't bottle water either. photo copyright gari.baldi under Creative commons license. Tap Water - best water for cats? No. Tap water in the USA (and I'll refer to the USA as people from that country are the major source of visitors to this site) is obviously drinkable but some say that it is not ideal for the maintenance of either human or cat's health. Examples of the chemicals found in tap water are: Chlorine: Some health authorities think that on balance chlorine is beneficial in tap water but others disagree including some doctors. For example, Joseph M. Price, a doctor working in the USA thinks that it is an insidious poison. Chlorine

Immune System of Cats

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Can the immune system of cats be improved by transfer factors ? What in heavens name are transfer factors? Transfer factors are immune messenger molecules. "They are found in white blood cells, colostrum, and eggs. They are often given credit for the perpetuation of species by transferring immunity against many pathogens that would otherwise kill the offspring." ( published under Wikimedia® creative commons license license = Attribution-ShareAlike License). They are said to the smallest molecules in the colostrum (mother's milk). The mother passes on her immunity to her offspring through transfer factors. She is also passing on information about her immune system through the transference of transfer factors. Transfer factors are manufactured for sale to be used by people. The same product can and is used by veterinarians to treat cats. This commercially available preparation is claimed to enhance and stimulate the body's own immune system to fight against all path

Are Cats Hurt by Commercial Food and Vaccines?

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Are cats hurt by commercial food and vaccines? It is argued by some that poor commercial food that are low in nutrients suitable to a cat and high in toxins (for commercial manufacturing reasons) can damage cat health. Combine this with the still prevalent concept of yearly vaccines and some veterinarians argue that there has been an increase in chronic ill health of cats and dogs. One such person is Michael E Dym, who practices Classical Veterinary Homeopathy. He argues that illnesses and behavioral problems that were rare in the 1960s are more frequently encountered today. He blames, as I mentioned, pet food and unnecessary vaccinations. He says that most of the health problems originate in a breakdown in the immune system. This can result in a wide range of illnesses such as: degenerative arthritis, chronic skin/ear allergies, digestive upset, seizures, gum/ teeth problems, kidney and liver failure, thyroid, adrenal and pancreatic disorders and cancer across all ages and bree

Is This Pet Food Dangerous?

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Is this pet food dangerous as the video maker says? It is Wellness® Pet Food and in the video below the video maker says that fish bones are present in the food that have not been sufficiently crushed, which makes the dried food dangerous. The bones are very sharp. Viewers of the video are unsure if this allegation is true or if it is a competitor slurring Wellness® for financial gain. If it is a deliberate slur, I would be very surprised if it was a competitor as it would leave them open to damages in a court of law. If it is a deliberate slur designed to damage Wellness® then it is more likely to be an individual, who is frankly living very dangerously. If the video is taken off YouTube and no longer visible below please don't be surprised. So who made the video? Well, the video maker's channel (the webpage provided by YouTube to him) is very thin indeed, meaning he has only made one video, the one above. His profile states that he is 85 years of age and living in the U

Autralians Confused About Cats

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Yup, it seems to me that Australians are confused about cats . On the one hand they are allowed to shoot 'em up in some States (Queensland and NSW for example - there are probably more) as they simply don't know how to control the feral cat of Australia and on the other hand they save one cat that was trapped in a burning house. See: Bengal cat shot in Australia Ground shooting of feral cats What is it to be? Aussies killing feral cats by the tens of thousands (and that isn't fast enough for some Aussies) and yet (rightly) they save the life of a 7 year old Persian cat (actually he looks like a Himalayan a pointed Persian) in Adelaide. The point is that the Aussie government is confused about how to deal with the feral cat. The Persian cat was saved by a fireman, a completely non-political person, I suspect, just doing his job in a compassionate manner. Politicians shouldn't be making self-interested decisions about feral cats. It should be in the hands of object

Do Big Cats Roam in Britain?

Do Big Cats Roam in Britain? -- The papers are awash with the latest story of how big cats really do roam in Britain. But do they? This time the evidence is stronger than ever. It comes from a Forestry Commission Surveyor who was carrying out a deer survey using thermal imaging equipment at night in the Forest of Dean. View Larger Map The surveyor says this, "I couldn't tell you how big they were or what they were. They were just large, full cats." How can this be good evidence then? He couldn't tell how big they were. They might be a Lynx a medium sized wildcat extinct in Britain since the middle ages but they could simply be feral cats. Some domestic cats can be as large as or larger than wild cats ( see a comparison ). The Lynx weighs about 22 lbs the top end of domestic cat weight . Some Maine Coons weigh more though. Then there are the F2 Savannahs that can weigh more than 22 lbs. So there is a real possibility that these cats are feral or even stray

Unconditional Love of Cats

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There was a recent article in the press about the outgoing president's lack of unconditional love of cats . He had two it seems. One, Ernie, a stray moggie that Mr Bush adopted when he was running for president in 2000. He gave away Ernie to a friend when he moved into the White House to protect the furniture. The Bush's other cat was called "India" and was, I am told, a black American Shorthair (purebred) who has sadly just died (but after a long life) . The Bush family kept India throughout her/his life. It looks like Mr Bush used Ernie to help him get elected president. When the job was done, it was goodbye. Does this show a lack of integrity? Have I got the story wrong? Yes, this is a dog. The same rules apply and it's a great photo in which there is a lovely sense of relaxed acceptance and tenderness between these two. Photo by carf Frankly this all seems rather typical and one can't really criticize because Mr Bush did improve the moggie's life,