Wednesday 30 April 2014

Cat’s Brain Releases the Same Love Hormone as Humans

Cat’s Brain Releases the Same Love Hormone as Humans

It has been found that mammals, which of course includes the domestic cat, produce a hormone in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which has been described as the "love hormone".  It's technical name is "oxytocin". The hormone is associated with friendliness and, for example, sexual intercourse and is produced when animals interact with themselves, or when people interact with animals, on a friendly and intimate level.

Because there's a great similarity in the way this hormone is produced by both the human-animal and the animal it has been concluded that the domestic cat feels similar emotions to people when they fall in love.

I have extended that presumption a little bit because we do not know exactly how animals feel including of course the domestic cat but I think it is fair to say that if the production of the hormone is very similar and as the hormone is produced during intimate relations as described, it is likely that the domestic cat feels the same as humans under these circumstances.

Paul J. Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University carried out the research.  Interestingly, he refers to a friendly relationship between a goat and a dog; what I will call an interspecies relationship-the kind that I really like to see.  When the goat and the dog were playing he discovered that the production of this so-called love hormone was extremely elevated in the goat to a point where he came to the conclusion that it was likely that the goat was in love with his dog companion.

For me, what is important about this finding is that once again we are reminded that anatomically the cat is very similar to the human in many ways and it also sheds light on how a cat feels.  There is always a lot of speculation about how cats feel.  For example the feeling of pain.  Cats feel pain but it can be difficult to judge how bad it is.  Cats can feel depressed or contented but once again it is hard to measure these emotions.  And because it is hard to measure these emotions people tend to undervalue them in the domestic cat.

This further research by Prof Zak will help people to respect the cat more, I hope.  Daily we are understanding animals better.  We are understanding the kind of intelligence that they possess and it is my passion and hope that we can begin to see them as equals as a result.

When cats living groups you often see friendships forming.  Cats that are friends with each other groom each other.  One can imagine that two cats grooming each other and enjoying each other's company have an elevated reduction at that moment of oxytocin. I think people should be aware that because it should make people more sensitive towards their cat companions.

Animal World’s Equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Discussion

Animal World’s Equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Discussion

Recently, a Labrador named Sasha won the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross when serving the military in Afghanistan, sniffing out explosives.  Both she and her handler Sgt Dodds was shot dead in 2008 while on patrol.

During military service in Afghanistan, Sasha had made 15 confirmed findings of explosives clearly saving many lives while exposing herself to injury and death (as was her handler).

What a wonderful dog but are people as wonderful?  Is it right that we should put a wonderful dog into a war zone to help win the war for Americans and British against the Taliban? A dog doesn't know anything about war.  Sasha was simply trained to smell the odour of explosives.  She never knew what explosions actually were and had no idea that she was helping to protect military personnel fighting a war.

Wars are a complete failure and the Afghanistan war is more of failure than other wars.  This is failure upon failure and then, it could be argued, we glorify war and validate it by awarding a wonderful dog with the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross (Dickin medal) for her bravery.  Do animals know about the concept of bravery?  I'm not sure they do.  Animals just do it.  And dogs do what they are trained to do.  A dog does not know that they are in danger - that they might be killed at any minute.

Wars are a human creation and a reflection of the failure of humankind to resolve disputes in a sensible manner.  Why should we involve any animal?

If the military in a war want to discover where explosives are they should devise a method to do that which is both effective and which protects them from injury and death.  Is that beyond human ingenuity?  It would have been better if the military could have poured a few million bucks into that project.

When you consider the billions and billions of dollars and pounds poured into the Afghan war why couldn't a few hundred million been poured into devising a mechanical method to discover explosives under the ground by the roadside?

It's just easier to train a dog.  There are lots of dogs and every one of them is very able to sniff out explosives and we all know that dogs are easy to train.  And they are loyal and will do as they are told.  Does this mean that people should exploit them by putting them in danger in war zones?

The Dickin medal is a wonderful award.  It is awarded by the PDSA in the UK.  But if I wanted to be very critical of it - and I don't want to be critical - you could say that, as mentioned above, it validates the concept of warfare and you could say that it supports the enlisting of animals as military personnel.

I think that the better way to proceed is to put more effort into avoiding war and to put more effort into research in robotics so that robots can detect explosives rather than a living, feeling, sentient loyal companion animal.

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

25 Cats Found Murdered in Yonkers, New York: An Atrocious Act of Animal Cruelty

25 Cats Found Murdered in Yonkers, New York: An Atrocious Act of Animal Cruelty

At the heart of human society there is a darkness which sometimes presents itself to the public in the form of unspeakable evil and the victims of this evil are often feral or stray cat because they are some of the most vulnerable creatures on the planet.  No one hates as much as a cat hater and it doesn't take long for a cat hater to find a cat to abuse, to be cruel to, to kill and then to hang up in a black plastic bin liner just for the hell of it.

Photo: SPCA of Westchester

There is something demented about this act of mass cat cruelty because of the black bags containing the dead bodies of the cats and kittens which have been hung from the branches of a tree in a wood overlooking the Hudson River.

The cats and kittens inside the bags had been killed with a blunt instrument.  Some had been killed a long time ago and were skeletons while others were killed within days.  That would indicate that the person responsible had been doing this for a very long time and it was part of a routine in his life. A person can go on killing stray and feral cats for a long time without being caught because no one is responsible for the cats and to be brutally honest very few people really care about feral cats.  Quite the contrary, a lot of people hate feral cats.

You can imagine it, a small deserted wooded area overlooking the Hudson River.  No one goes there except a demented evil bastard who hates cats and probably hates the world as well.  He wants to hurt something.  He wants to kill something but realises that if he kills a person he is likely to end up in prison for the rest of his life so what does it do?  He picks on the most vulnerable amongst us and in any case it's a chance to express his hatred for cats.

There is almost a close relationship between nastiness in a person and a hatred for cats.  Sometimes I think that the two aspects of a person's personality accompany each other like a demented duo festering inside the person's soul eating away at it until it has to be expressed.

There is a particular nastiness about a cat hater and a cat killer.  What makes this example of cat cruelty and killing particularly macabre is the black plastic bags.  Why do that?  Has this person got a fetish about black plastic?  It seems that way to me.

I envisage a man of about 35 years of age who has very poor personal hygiene, a loner who spends all his time on a computer playing violent video games.  I guess I'm stereotyping him and that is the wrong thing to do because you never quite know the cat haters.  They could be anybody.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Leopard Cat In Taiwan Under Threat from Habitat Loss

Leopard Cat In Taiwan Under Threat from Habitat Loss

Another rather ordinary example of habitat loss which threatens another wild cat species.  That said, this is the first time that I've written about a wild cat species in Taiwan.  The leopard cat is present over large parts of Asia but as usual under constant threat.  Apparently, they are found on plantations because they have adapted well.

In this instance, in an area in central-west Taiwan (Miaoli County), which appears to be fairly urbanised already, a group of companies has decided to develop in an area where the leopard cat lives, without proper planning permission and without an environmental impact assessment having been carried out beforehand. There are an estimated 500 leopard cats in the area we are informed. The leopard cat is the wild cat half of the domestic Bengal cat and is called "Rock Tiger" (Joho) in Taiwan.

I sense, but I have no firm evidence, that this sort of business expansion, which appears to ride roughshod over legislation and planning laws is not untypical in Asia.

I have no right to preach about this, of course, but you only have to read about the lack of enforcement of conservation laws in China to understand that there is widespread corruption.  The Chinese government admits it and if there is corruption in China there is almost certainly a fair bit of corruption in Taiwan. The Forbes website reports on an increasing corruption in Taiwan and an increase in bribery of the judiciary.  I don't know how true that is but it would seem to be accurate.

Ultimately, it is the lack of proper legislation and a lack of enforcement of proper legislation which results in unregulated expansion of human activity particularly business activity such as a illegal logging resulting in deforestation which results in habitat loss leading to the gradual extinction of wild cat species.

Business has very little if any interest in the conservation of wildlife because wildlife simply gets in the way of making a profit unless of course they're using and abusing it to make a profit but that is another story.

Is my cat suffering paw pain from a declaw she endured as a young kitty?

Is my cat suffering paw pain from a declaw she endured as a young kitty?

This is possibly a fairly classic case of botched domestic cat declaw surgery on a kitten which is causing continuing pain and discomfort which in turn has led to inappropriate elimination because walking on cat litter is painful.

The only way to find out whether the declaw surgery has been botched and if there are fragments of bone in the cat's paw or there is re-growth of the claw is by x-ray and that costs money and so, of course, will the follow-up surgery if there is something wrong.

When you consider that a veterinarian performs declaw surgery on all 10 toes on the fore-paws of a cat in about 15 mins you can see the potential for getting it, wrong can't you?  Most often veterinarians use a simple guillotine device a bit like garden secateurs.  It's quite horrendous really when you think about it.

The vet, of course, presumes that the excruciating pain suffered by the cat after the operation will subside over the forthcoming week.  But does it?  The veterinarian won't know and it is quite possible that neither will the cat's owner because cats are very good at hiding pain but sometimes a change in behaviour indicates something is amiss.

This is such a case.  Tina wants to have her cat's toes x-rayed by a competent veterinarian to see whether there is something wrong with them due to the declaw surgery which occurred many years before.

Tina has come to this conclusion because her cat demonstrates inappropriate elimination and continuing problems in that regard.  Her cat's name is Mollie.

My website provides charitable donations once a month based on the number of comments acquired during that month (at $.05 a comment).  The usual amount is about $80-$100 per month.  I'm happy to help and what we could do is put together two month's worth of donations to see whether that will cover the cost of x-rays.

Once the x-rays are carried out then, if there is a problem, there are veterinary surgeons who can repair the damage.  Some veterinarians are very skilled at this and know all about these sorts of problems.

What's the moral to this tale?  Well it is this: declaw surgery happens a lot and and no one knows whether the operation has left behind a lasting problem with pain and behaviour so beware and be aware of this potential problem.

Note: this is a duplicate post on the same subject but written entirely afresh with different words and therefore it is an entirely new post.  The reason why I posted it here is because this website can sometimes be found better by Google in searches than the main website. And I want to spread the word to help this cat.

Validity Of All Animal Testing on Mice Called into Question

Validity Of All Animal Testing on Mice Called into Question

When a mouse is in the presence of a man, the mouse thinks that the man is another mouse trespassing on his territory and as a consequence the mouse becomes stressed, highly stressed in fact.  The reason this happens is because men and mice have the same pheromones.  The presence of stress reduces the experience of pain in the mouse.  This skews results in animal tests carried out on mice.

This finding has called into question perhaps all of the animal experiments on mice that have been conducted by men since the beginning of animal experiments, which must be an awful lot of experiments because in the United Kingdom about 67% of all animal testing is conducted on mice (almost 2,000,000 mice were used in 2004).

If we can say that all the experiments conducted on mice can at least be called into question or at least there are doubts about the results of experiments, then I would have thought that this substantially damages the justification for the animal experiments that have taken place over the past decades.

If it wasn't slightly amusing it would be very sad.  In fact is both at the same time.  To think that the results of animal testing on mice, over the decades, has been different between experiments conducted by a man or a woman must also call into question the abilities of the scientists involved.

Even when a T-shirt worn by a man was placed next to a mouse, the mouse became highly stressed. Apparently, scientists can judge how much pain an mouse is under by looking at its expression.  A mouse makes a grimace when in discomfort and/or pain and the amount of the grimace indicates how much pain the mouse is in.  Using this measure, scientists who came to this finding noted that mice when stressed by the presence of men felt less pain.

The information is interesting because cats are also used in animal experiments.  In the USA 25,500 cats we use in animal experiments in 2000 and about half of them had the potential to cause the cat great discomfort and pain.

I wonder whether cats are also affected by the pheromones given off by people.  We know that cats are highly attuned to the scent of other animals and people.  I'm not saying that a cat will necessarily feel stressed in the presence of a man but a cat might like or dislike the body odour of certain individuals which may impact upon the results of an experiment conducted upon him or her. I think that needs to be looked at as well in the light of the interesting findings regarding mice.

Families Torn Apart by the Arkansas Tornadoes 2014

Families Torn Apart by the Arkansas Tornadoes 2014

Of course, when I refer to “families", I include companion animals and not only the relationship between people and their pets but also the relationship between pets themselves.  They're all part of the family and the family unit.

In this case we have a cat and dog.  The dog's name is Lucille and she has been found, thankfully, but unfortunately the cat whose name is Opel is yet to be found.

Having visited the Facebook page setup to reunite people with their companion animals, I have noticed that there are far more dogs posted than cats. I don't know whether that is significant or not. It just might be that people in that part of Arkansas prefer dogs.

Or it might be the case - and I have rather black thoughts are, as black as that tornado cloud in the picture - that people are more concerned about their lost dog than they are about their lost cat.

If, by chance, that is true it is in line with statistics which tell is that people take their dog to the veterinarian far more frequently than they do their cat.  It seems that the independence of the cat works against them while the needy nature of the dog works in their favour.

In any case, the point of this short article is that these devastating tornadoes affecting the middle of America has torn apart some families and in this instance, a couple of best buddy pets. Let's hope Opel is found.

Monday 28 April 2014

Picture of Tabby Cat Rescued after Arkansas and Oklahoma Tornadoes April 2014

Picture of Tabby Cat Rescued after Arkansas and Oklahoma Tornadoes April 2014

This is a screenshot from a video taken in Oklahoma just south of Oklahoma City which is where the tornadoes passed across Oklahoma and also Arkansas and I believe other states in the centre of America.  The date is April 2040 and there's been lots of devastation in that part of America with, of course, lots of companion cats and dogs are being killed or lost.

This cute little tabby cat - with a collar by the way which I hope helps to be reunited with her owner - was rescued by the lady in the pink dress.  I like the photograph because there is tenderness in the woman's eyes, there is fear and anxiety in the cat's eyes and there is total devastation behind them both.

The result of all this devastation is a massive job on hand to reunite those pets (that survived) with their human guardians and caretakers.  There is, though, a lot of dedication from many wonderful people who are highly committed to helping.  Natural catastrophes like this bring people together. Although people lose everything in the way of possessions they realise what is really important to them when all their possessions are stripped away; and what is important is their family, their health and their companion animal.

Are You Squeamish about Seeing Your Cat’s Bottom?

Are You Squeamish about Seeing Your Cat’s Bottom?

This is actually a serious question although it looks like it's a bit of a joke.  Some people are squeamish about their cat's bottom.  They don't like their cat presenting their bottom to them.  It feels impolite to a human but to a cat it is neither here nor there, it means nothing and in fact cats frequently present their bottom to us because they like to sleep next to us but facing away from us and when they settle down guess what they do: you get their bottom in-your-face.

No big deal.  Get used to it.  It's all natural and it's all part of a domestic cat's anatomy.  Every part of a domestic cat's anatomy is as good as the other.  A genuine cat lover is a very practical, down-to-earth person who likes naturalness.

Some people don't like it when cats lick their bottom to clean it.  They think it is unclean and horrible. Some don't like to clean out cat litter trays.  The modern person actually can tend to live a little bit outside of reality sometimes because reality is harsh to some people.  Everything is transformed.

A lot of people don't like the way they look so they have plastic surgery.  When they get older they hate the lines on their face and so have plastic surgery even though it is perfectly normal to have lines on your face and they can make you look better but they are too "real" for some people; it's to natural and normal.

There is a tendency for some people to shun reality just slightly or in some cases greatly.  I'm thinking about drug addicts and alcoholics but don't get me wrong; it is perfectly human and I have great sympathy but personally I'm a realist and I'm quite happy if my cat presents his bum to me.

In fact, a good cat caretaker needs to be observant and observe both ends of the cat!  There are often medical problems in the mouth of the cat with gum disease and what comes out the rear end can say a lot about a cat's health.  Tapeworms come out the rear end and bloody stools, for example. Diarrhoea comes out the rear end or nothing comes out of it (constipation)!  All these things indicate particular health issues.  They are symptoms and a concerned cat lover will not shy away from inspecting the rear end of a cat and what comes out of it.

I remember visiting a person in America and we were having dinner at the kitchen table and her magnificent Maine Coon cat came up.  I think he jumped up onto a chair and turned around to present his bum to us.  So....we have food on the table and his bum in in our faces but who cares? The host cared and quickly turned her cat around to hide his bum but as for me, I didn't care.

Are They Your Cat’s Ashes?

Are They Your Cat’s Ashes?

The link above takes you to an essay about the cremation of a domestic cat but it covers a lot more than that so make a cup of tea before you start reading it.

As I understood the article, the message is that you might not be given your cat's ashes even when you ask for an individual cremation at an established pet crematorium.

This may not worry people but it would worry me.  Although, it has to be said that once an animal or a human being is cremated there is no vestige whatsoever remaining of that person or animal.  There is no DNA in the ashes.  Ashes are ashes and they could be the ashes of a piece of wood or a piece of flesh or bone.  There are all the same.

Therefore, if you request an individual pet cremation you are doing so for entirely emotional reasons because what you receive back is an emotional connection with your lost cat but it is not a direct physical connection as nothing of her or him remains after cremation.

That said, an emotional connection is extremely important and therefore there is a lot of value in asking for an individual cremation and taking her ashes back with you to your home and placing them in an urn.

However, if you place a value on an individual pet cremation is probably wise to supervise the whole process from beginning to end by observing it.  Only then will you be sure that your pet has been cremated by herself and what you receive is her remains.

This is exactly what I did with my two lost cats who passed some years ago.  Individual creations are obviously much more expensive than a standard cremation, which is something that should be borne in mind but, as far as I am concerned, it is money well spent.

A lot of people will simply ask their veterinarian to euthanise their cat and then deal with the body.  Personally, and I'm not being critical of anybody, that is unfeeling or insensitive and possibly reflects the relationship that the person had with their cat.  I don't know.

I do know, however, that it does bring me comfort emotionally to have my two cats' ashes with me.  When I die I will be cremated and my ashes will be mixed with theirs and then they can be scattered at a place that I treasure or, if I have a partner at that time, she can take the ashes home with her if he wishes.

The Social Function of Tail Up in Domestic Cats

The Social Function of Tail Up in Domestic Cats

The tail up position of the domestic cat is a signal to the other cat that the meeting is to be amicable. This position of the domestic cat's tail has evolved because the domestic cat has adapted to living in groups and being a social animal, whereas the domestic cat's wild ancestor is the African wildcat, which is a solitary creature.

The only other cat species that presents the tail up position is the lion because they are the only species of wild cat that live in groups called prides.  They lion's tail up position is very similar to the domestic cat's except that the tip of the tail droops forward.

So, the domestic cat's tail up position has evolved out of the hierarchical system that developed because they learned to live in groups.

In hierarchical systems you have dominant and submissive cats-we all know that.  And there will be a top cat in a group.  When a cat who is not at the top greets the top cat he wants to make sure that the greeting is amicable because he wants to avoid aggression towards himself.  The greeting cat needs to play his role within the hierarchal system within the group and ensure that his signal is clearly made to a cat higher up in the hierarchy.

So, the domestic cat tail up position is an example of cat body language.  Scientists are not exactly sure how it developed but may have developed from a newborn kitten greeting his mother with his tail up and then rubbing against his mother in a warm and friendly way with scent exchange.

With the tail up and with the warmth of the greeting the two aspects of that behaviour merged and the vertical tail position developed into an amicable greeting in adulthood and one which is designed to ensure friendship: an affiliative behaviour.

People should not be squeamish by the fact that the tail up position exposes the cat's bottom to them or someone else. That may sound like a silly remark to make but some people are a bit squeamish about this sort of thing but they should remind themselves that the fact that they are seeing their cat's bottom means that their cat's tail is in the air and therefore their domestic cat companion is content and happy to see them and furthermore is behaving in a way which infers that the person is at the top of the hierarchal tree.

Pets Lost and Found From Arkansas Tornado April 27 2014

Pets Lost and Found From Arkansas Tornado April 27 2014

I am just spreading the word in trying to help to reunite pets with people who have been separated as a result of the recent Arkansas tornado of April 27, 2014.

There is a Facebook webpage where people can post comments and pictures etc to help in the reuniting process.

If you click on the link above at the top of this page it will take you to another web page where there are links to FB.  Sorry but I can't say much more right now because I am pushed for time.

Sunday 27 April 2014

Missouri Mother of Two Goes to Jail Over Family Cat

Missouri Mother of Two Goes to Jail Over Family Cat

I am reliably informed that keeping a domestic cat in America is becoming more and more restrictive in that there are more restrictions on letting your cat go outside without supervision or on a leash.  It seems that the good old days of letting a cat go wandering around the house are gradually coming to an end.  I had no idea that there was a gradual increase in bylaws or local laws placing restrictions upon cat ownership and letting the cat go outside.

The Family. The lady who was made a criminal is top right.
Anyway, this Missouri mother adopted a cat called Thriller and she had a daughter aged 2 (see above).  The daughter inadvertently let their cat outside and he was eventually picked up I suppose by animal control and taken to a shelter.

Mom had to pay a fine to the cat shelter to recover her cat and although she will wasn't aware of it, she had to attend court.  She failed to attend court and as a result she had instantly become a criminal.  A warrant for her arrest was issued and she was arrested and put into police cells for a while until the matter was sorted out.

So we have an ordinary law-abiding woman with a 2-year-old daughter and a nice bicolour cat getting into big trouble over nothing and acquiring criminal record, at least for a while.  Not nice.

The whole ghastly episode started off with an inadvertent and accidental breach of the local leash laws of which I know nothing about but clearly it was illegal where she lived to let a cat go outside unsupervised or unattended.

The simple act of letting a cat go outside, on a common sense basis, has no criminal content about it. It is just a cat outside in the open doing nothing and that by itself cannot be a crime but it has artificially been made a crime.  And once you start going down that route you have to watch procedures and comply with them 100% otherwise you get into trouble like this lady did.

Of course, the philosophical question is there a need for strict regulations regarding cats going outside in America?  That must depend on where you live and I suppose in urban areas it might be justified but I sense that there are better ways to deal with outdoor cats.

Does it have to be the case that all domestic cats must live their entire lives indoors?  If that is the conclusion that American legislators have come to then, as far as I'm concerned, domestication of the cat is a failure in America.

What about putting GPS trackers on all outdoor cats?  What about making it obligatory to build cat enclosures if one lives in a detached house?  Why could not that be a building regulation?  What about regulations making it obligatory to microchip a cat?

It might be better to deal with the problems of cat ownership in different ways so that there are far fewer domestic cat outside in the first place and there are far more excellent cat caretakers in the second place.

Finally, you have to look at the enforcement of local legislation which controls outdoor cats.  How do you enforce this legislation?  It seems to me that you're going to get a lot of problems with enforcement because firstly animal control will have to ascertain whether the cat is a genuine domestic cat or a semi-feral cat.  The complications are endless and the unfortunate circumstances in which this lady found herself is an example of how it can go wrong.

Drones Prove Effective in the Fight against Wildlife Poaching in Kenya

Drones Prove Effective in the Fight against Wildlife Poaching in Kenya

This is the first time that drones have been used for an activity that I approve of and like: wildlife conservation.  I could not think of a better use of technology to beat the wildlife poachers.

We are all familiar with drones.  They come in a variety of sizes and shapes and uses.  The ones we usually see are quite large and may have rockets underneath their wings and sensors and cameras at the front.  Other ones are like model helicopters but there's more than one rotor: usually four. And underneath the rotors is a camera.  I suspect this is the one that they are using in Kenyan on a trial run. They are controlled remotely on the ground.

Using a drone to scare away poachers who are frightened to be identified has proved exceptionally successful with poaching being reduced by 96%, apparently, in the area of the trial.

Because of the success the Kenyan authorities have decided to extend the use of drones across more of their 52 reserves and parks.  I hope the drone continues to be successful and that it is used across all 52 reserves.  I suspect that in due course the poachers will find someway of stopping it.  Perhaps they will shoot the drone down.  Who knows?

Some of the major wildlife species in Africa's reserves are highly endangered due to poaching and habitat loss (primarily).  The rhino's horn is a favourite because some Asians who are rich enough think that it gives them an erection. Very sad, isn't it?  I bet that they have tiny penises as well.  Even a rhino horn can't fix that problem.

Then we have the majestic African elephant which is being systematically poached to extinction for its ivory once again to be sold to the Asian market, I suspect.  I don't want to sound racist but they don't seem to have much respect for wildlife in Asia, do they?

What about the lion?  Well, some people think it will be extinct in the wild in 20 to 40 years, which is about the same time that it will take to make the Bengal tiger extinct in India.

The African lion is also systematically poached and its habitat constantly eroded through human activity including massive increases in industrial activity, which is managed by the Chinese who wish to take as much in the way of minerals out of Africa as possible to feed their industries back home which in turn will feed the consumer markets of America and Europe.  Crazy world isn't it And at the end of the chain is the lion being persecuted and ground down to extinction.

The lion is poached for its carcass which is eaten just as the tiger's carcass is also eaten. The penis of the tiger is worth about $6000 on the open market in China.  The forearms of the tiger are valuable because they are very strong and the poor week insecure men who like to eat the forearms of the tiger think that it will make them stronger and more masculine.  Shame isn't it?  The insecurities of humankind knows no bounds.

Well, the Kenyan government is going to spend $103,000,000 on this drone protection/conservation project and the governments of America, the Netherlands, Canada and France are also providing their support because, after all, this is a world problem because once the lion is gone in the wild it is gone from the world.  And that affects everybody now and for eternity.

Will Women Veterinarians Stop the Declawing of Cats In the USA?

Will Women Veterinarians Stop the Declawing of Cats In the USA?

It seems that I have an old-fashioned view point that women are nurturers and men are hunters.  I had thought that that approach to life was genetically programmed into us.  And if it is, it must be very difficult for a female veterinarian to remove the top of the 10 toes of the front paws of a cat when the operation carries no benefit whatsoever for the cat and is done solely for the benefit of the cat's owner and on her instructions.

If a person is a nurturer they want to nurture!  They want to nourish the person or animal or baby.  They want to make sure that the patient is cared for well and gets better.  They want to help the patient if the nurturer is a veterinarian.  This should be hardwired into the brain of a female veterinarian.  But apparently not.

Despite the fact that 50% of American veterinarians are women there has been no impact upon the number of cats declawed in America.  It appears that female veterinarians have exactly the same attitude to declawing as male veterinarians which is to make money out of it.

I understand the pressure that veterinarians are under.  Training to become a veterinarian is extremely expensive which means that student veterinarians acquire lots of debt which has to be paid off which in turn means they have to make as much money as possible when they qualify.  Is this right though?  Is it right that a veterinarian should be motivated by money?

Clearly a veterinarian should not be motivated by money but by caring for a patient in the best way possible.  Therefore, the training of veterinarians highly compromises the attitude of a veterinarian once qualified.  In fact the expense of training is such that the American vet has to tear up his or her oath in order to make financial ends meet.

If we agree that being a female vet does not in any way protect the domestic cat from being declawed and if we agree that the reason for this is because of the expense of training, I think that people in authority should look at the expense of training.  Can it be reduced?   Are there too many vets chasing too little work making the profession over competitive leading to unnecessary operations and vaccinations?

I had thought, perhaps naïvely, that female veterinarians would put a brake on the declawing of cats in America but I'm told that money overrules any innate genetic motivation which makes a woman and nurturer.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Heaven is real: Which pet do you hope to spend eternity with?

Heaven is real: Which pet do you hope to spend eternity with?

Is heaven really real?  We'll never know, will we?  Heaven is not real because it is only in the imagination or in our minds.  It is not tangible.  There is no evidence of it despite what some people might say.  The title to this post and the linked post itself was written by Elisa, a regular contributor to the main website.

I don't believe that heaven is real but it doesn't stop me wanting to spend eternity with a particular cat who has passed on.  She died 20 years ago.  She died in an accident.  The accident was my fault.  I had just moved home because I just got divorced and the new home I moved to had a nice garden. There was a road outside but it wasn't that busy.  I wanted to let her go out but I was careless.  I was too free about her going out.

At the time I was working very hard so I was away from the home all day.  I've learnt some hard lessons since then.  One day when I came back home she wasn't there and I knew, I knew she was dead.

I sort of knew where she might be: over the road under some bushes and trees beyond which was a field where I'm sure she had gone.  Anyway, I spent about an hour or 90 min searching for her and found her under the bushes.  I figured that she had been knocked over by a car and raced under the bushes to die.

I put her in a box and buried her at the bottom of the garden.  Subsequently, I was burgled twice so I moved home.  Before I moved I asked a friend of mine to dig up the bones of my darling cat which she kindly did and I took them to a pet crematorium where she was individually cremated and today she is in an urn in the living room with  the ashes of my other deceased cats.

I remember clearly every single bit of the time that I lost my beloved cat, found her, buried her, met my former wife and we cried over the whole thing and so on and so on.  I remember everything about it and it devastated me.  I made quite a few mistakes in those days.

This cat that I mourn so heavily had a brother and when my wife and I divorced she took the brother and I took the sister.  That was a mistake anyway because brother and sister should not have been broken up.  Anyway, that's just another mistake.  I've changed since then.

The name of the cat I lost so tragically is Missie. She was a sweet, athletic, Norwegian Forest Cat mix.  She was a great jumper.  She was a fantastic climber.  Norwegian Forest Cats are.  They're known for it.

And to this day I still think of her and still mourn her.  Nothing would give me more pleasure than to meet her over the rainbow Bridge, on the other side and be with her for eternity, if it is possible.  I don't believe it is possible but if it is it would bring me joy.  If it was certain that I would meet her in heaven and be with her for eternity I would willingly die immediately. I loved her more than any person.

Have I Given My Cat The Flu?

Have I Given My Cat The Flu?

The conventional view is that a person cannot give their cat the flu and neither can a cat give their human guardian the flu because viruses are species-specific. However, there was one reported case of swine flu being given to a cat by his owner.

That single example does open the door to the possibility, as far as I'm concerned, that there may be other unrecorded examples of transmission of viruses between cats and people.  We don't know and I suspect that nobody is checking.  Viruses mutate.  There are new viruses.  Is it possible that one of these viruses can be transmitted between a person and their cat?

The reason why I raise this question is because both my cat and I have exactly the same symptoms as I dictate this.  He has a cold and I have a cold.  He sneezes (very loudly) and I sneeze and feel a bit poorly.  My joints ache a bit.  His cold started at the same time that my cold started.  Of course, this may not be a cold.  It could be an allergy and we could both be suffering from the same allergy but I believe that it is more likely that we either have the same cold and it has transmitted between us or, simply by coincidence, we both have a cold at the same time.

Although it is extremely unlikely, it would seem possible that I may have swine flu - a low-level version of it - which I have given to my cat.

Why have I mentioned swine flu?  Well about 3 or so months ago I had a flu jab, a vaccination, to help prevent getting the flu over the winter and I was told by the person administering it that, this year, they had added a swine flu vaccine to the usual vaccine.

The vaccination hurt my left arm and that discomfort has continued over months and therefore I think something went wrong.  Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that rather than the vaccine preventing flu it caused me to get the flu?  And if it did it may be swine flu and if it is I may have given it to my cat because we know that that particular type of virus is transmittable between person and cat.

This is very far-fetched, on the face of it but who knows?  It is highly unlikely that what I have suggested is actually happening but what I'm going to do is take my cat to a veterinarian on Monday and see whether she can do some blood tests on him to find out what sort of virus (if it is a virus) that is causing him to sneeze and which has given him a cold.

If my veterinarian is amenable to the suggestion, I will also ask her to take a blood sample from me to do a similar blood test on my blood to see whether there is a match between my blood and my cat's blood with respect to any viruses that may be in it.  That is the wild plan.  It is probably an unworkable plan but I will pursue it nonetheless.

Bacteria Pasteurella Multocida in Mouth of Cat Can Cause Meningitis

Bacteria Pasteurella Multocida in Mouth of Cat Can Cause Meningitis

There is one case reported on the Internet of a domestic cat licking a baby's bottle and thereby transmitting to the baby a certain bacteria in the cat's mouth to the baby whereupon the baby developed meningitis.  This is extremely rare and it should not worry mothers but I am reporting it nonetheless.

This particular bacteria mentioned in the title and the link above can of course be deposited under the skin of a person if a cat bites a person but let me say right away that there really is never a good reason why a cat bites a person because cat bites can always be avoided by the person provided he or she adopts an aware and intelligent approach to their interactions with the domestic cat.  It may be harder to deal with feral cats and avoid scratches and bites but then again it depends upon how the person handles the cats and interacts with them.  It is in the hands of the person literally to manage themselves carefully or, let's put it this way, to respect the cat.

Certain groups of people are more vulnerable to the effects of this bacteria than others and these are people who are suffering from immunosuppression meaning that they have weak immune systems.  Diabetics, people with prosthetic joints and women who have undergone a mastectomy are also more prone to suffer more serious effects from this bacteria.  These groups of people may consider not keeping a cat for this reason.  I regret saying that because I really don't see why anybody can't keep a cat.

The treatment of an infection by this bacteria has to be conducted with care because, for example, Erythromycin,  a well-known antibiotic cannot of itself resolve the problem.  If the person is treated simply with this antibiotic the infection may get worse leading to serious consequences.

Clearly, it is important that a doctor analyses the cause of the infection carefully and thereafter treats the patient appropriately.

Naming Your Black Cat Or Dog After A Well-known Black Person

Naming Your Black Cat Or Dog After A Well-known Black Person

A well-known television presenter in Britain tweeted that he named his black dog, a Scottish terrier, after a black footballer.  Is this an example of inadvertent racism or is the criticism, by some people of this presenter, an example of political correctness?

The television presenter is Jeremy Clarkson and he's just adopted a Scottish terrier which is a black dog. The well-known footballer is Didier Drogba. Didier is a top-flight football of great talent who used to play in the Premier league in England, which is considered to be the best football league in the world by some.  I believe that he is currently playing for a Turkish football club called Galatasaray but he may not renew his contract.  I understand that he is possibly somewhere near the end of his footballing career.

Anyway, that isn't the point.  The big point is whether Jeremy Clarkson is inadvertently being racist or is he just being funny?  Jeremy Clarkson likes to be funny and he's a very smart person.  He is funny.  You may notice that there is a slight play on words between the word “dog" and the first part of the footballer surname.

The answer as to whether this is a mild form of an overt racism or perhaps subconscious racism perhaps depends on in which country it occurs.  Britain is generally a very tolerant country but it has become irritatingly politically correct.  There is sometimes a overemphasis on being extremely careful with what you say in order to protect the sensitivities of others.  I understand the need to be sensitive towards the feelings of others and at all times to avoid racism but it can go too far sometimes.

If you live in a country where the dog is seen as unclean, then naming your dog after a person may be an insult to that person because you could be considered to be indicating that the person is unclean. In some countries people will insult other people by referring to the dog.  As far as I'm concerned this is an insult to the dog not to the person!  You can see that I tend to prefer animals to people but don't get me wrong, it does not mean I dislike people.

A discussion took place on a well-known British radio station (LBC) about Jeremy Clarkson's tweet. People's opinion was divided.  The presenter, Nick Ferrari (a very high profile radio presenter) believed that Jeremy Clarkson had not been racist and this was political correctness.  A young caller thought it was racist because she said that Jeremy Clarkson is of the old school as he is 54 years old. The point she made was that people in their fifties and older come from an age when racism was rife or more common than it is today.  Because of this they are more prone to make racist remarks without even knowing it.

One British caller  to the radio station said that he had named his black cat after Whitney Houston the well-known singer.  Clearly he thought that Clarkson had not been racist and that the whole discussion was a classic example of political correctness gone mad.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.

There is an associated topic and it is this: the domestic cat with a black coat is the least popular of all domestic cats with respect to its appearance.  Is this a case of subliminal racism?

Friday 25 April 2014

Feral Cats Blamed for Flea Infestation At Irish Hospital

Feral Cats Blamed for Flea Infestation At Irish Hospital

This is a classic case of blaming the feral cat when no other reason could be found especially when that other reason was quite likely to be people.  If there is a competition between a problem being caused by a feral cat or a person you know that the cat will be the cause of the problem.

It is obviously very unusual for there to be a cat flea infestation inside a hospital.  However, it is not that unusual, I suspect, for feral cats to live near hospitals because where there are hospitals there are kitchens to feed the patients and where there are kitchens there is lots of food in bins outside the hospital; an ideal source of sustenance for a group of feral cats.

However, it seems that the hospital, on this occasion, was too eager to blame the cats and used a pest control company to trap them and kill them although it is said that they were euthanised by a veterinarian.   Euthanising a healthy cat is not euthanasia is straight killing.

I wonder whether anybody in authority at the hospital asked questions about the people working at the hospital and whether they kept cats at home or not.  That, I think, would have been a good line of enquiry for the hospital management before jumping in and contracting with a pest control company.  Perhaps they did but I doubt it.

The Human Species Is Destroying Planet Earth

The Human Species Is Destroying Planet Earth

This is an article by Ruth.  Ruth is a regular contributor to the main website.  I don't know how many people think that the human species is destroying planet Earth.  Do you think like that?  Do you think Ruth is being too pessimistic and negative.  Or do you think she's being realistic and observant?

A lot of people are very interested in their little world, the world that they inhabit and either don't have time or the inclination to look beyond that, to the wider picture and to the consequences of their actions and how their actions impact on, for example nature and the environment.

There are other people who understand how their actions impact upon the environment but do nothing to minimise that impact if it is a negative one because they're too busy surviving and trying to get on in the world.  As very few other people, relatively, are interested in conserving the planet and doing something about the environment, any person who is concerned about the environment is at a disadvantage because what he or she does is compromised because he or she is less competitive, at least potentially.

It is the rat race and to hell with the environment.  That is what the governments believe because no one as yet has managed to bring the major industrialised countries together to take steps to protect the environment for future generations.

What has this got to do with cats?  Well, it has everything to do with cats is they lived with us if their domesticated and they live in the wild, in nature if they are wild cats.   Whatever happens to us also happens to our cats.

It isn't just about destroying planet Earth it is about what we do within the home and how that affects our domestic cat companions.  There was only hazards within the home a lot of which we are not aware of.  And outside there are more hazards, the greatest of which is the automobile.  Roads not only carve up the home ranges of wild cat species, they also carry traffic and traffic kills cats.  We created all this and therefore we created an outside environment that is in general hostile to the domestic, straight, and feral cat.

Of course predators will prey on outside cats as well.  I accept that.  However, I would bet my bottom dollar that by far the biggest killer of domestic cats to venture outside is the automobile.

We are in the process of destroying the planet and a great example of that is the plight of the Bengal tiger, which mainly resides in India.  There the Tiger almost exclusively lives in tiger reserves.  So the natural habitat of the Tiger in India has been cut down to reserves which are too small and which cannot contain a group of healthy breeding tigers in a sustainable way.  We had destroyed the habitat of the Tiger and left them too little to live on and in.

Not being content to simply remove most of the Tiger's habitat, many Asian people also like to eat bits of the Tiger because they believe it makes them better.  This results in poaching and it is impossible for the Rangers on these reserves to prevent poaching taking place.  The resources are simply not there so there are not enough rangers.  That in itself is indicative of the fact that there is an inadequate amount of motivation amongst those in authority in India to protect the Tiger.

And there is another problem.  Even those in authority are unwilling to really commit to saving nature.  There is simply not the willingness and the commitment and motivation there amongst people in authority and amongst those who run the big businesses to protect and conserve the natural environment within which wild species live.

Matters will deteriorate until the moment comes when there is a real impact upon humankind  and its survival and then, and only then, in the eleventh hour will humankind take steps to protect itself and I for one will hope that it is too late for it is time for the world to be returned to the way it was before the first human stepped on the planet.

Note: this article was dictated using DragonDictate.  It was not checked due to time constraints and therefore if you do see some rather odd words popping up that don't make sense you will know why!

China-Eating Wildlife-Tightening Up and Enforcement of Existing Law

China-Eating Wildlife-Tightening Up and Enforcement of Existing Law

Friday 18 April 2014

Sick Looking Cougar Ate Rat Poison And Has Mange

This Californian cougar looks very unhappy and so he should because he has mange which makes his fur look motley and it makes him look unkempt but it is also because he has eaten rodents which have been killed with rat poison. He must feel awful. He looks miserable.

AP Photo - Mountain lion suffering from mange and rat poison

As a result the cougar has been poisoned with rat poison. Not so long ago he appeared strong and healthy when he was wandering through a wilderness park in the middle of Los Angeles. And now he looks a mess and it is unclear whether he will survive. Although he has been treated and sent on his way.

This mountain lion has been trapped before and wears a radio collar. The cat has a number P–22.

Read much more on this well-known cougar

There may be a connection between this cat getting mange and being poisoned by the anticoagulant rodenticide.

Apparently, mange in wild cats is rare and only two other mountain lions in the 12 year National Park Service study have developed mange and both of them died of rat poison.

It makes me wonder whether there should be some sort of local regulations which ensures that wildlife is protected from eating animals that have been killed with rat poison.

For someone like me, it is unpleasant to think about a mountain lion dying of poison, slowly while simultaneously suffering from a highly irritating skin condition. This cat must feel very uncomfortable and ill.

Sunday 6 April 2014

You Might Not Know That Your Cat Has Arthritis

Cat owners should be open to the possibility that their cat has arthritis. This is particularly so if their cat is elderly and/or overweight. We know that in people arthritis causes a lot of discomfort and it severely affects the lives of people. We also know that domestic cat hide their discomfort and their pain. The masking of the discomfort and pain of arthritis makes it difficult to diagnose.

 He has arthritis of the elbow and is on medication.
Veterinarians will admit that diagnosis of feline arthritis is underreported. Not enough vets are diagnosing arthritis. One reason why feline arthritis may be more prevalent than people think it is, is because the cat companion is becoming ever more overweight. We know that the extra burden of weight on joints can lead to arthritis.

The pet market place is very valuable to manufacturers and they are forever trying to sell more products to pet owners including cat and dog food that looks attractive to people. The cat treats are a modern phenomenon and cat owners who want to please their cat will tend to buy a packet of cat treats. Treats are packaged in a way that makes them look like sweets for people. That is the way I view them anyway.

People like to keep their cat happy and feeding them quality human food and cat treats will make a cat happy but it may also make a cat fat and flatness equates to arthritis and sometimes diabetes.

People should be aware of the possibility of arthritis in cats. When it is bad you will notice it in a cat. I remember a very old ginger tabby cat who lived outside for a very long time and he came into my mother's house for some warmth. His gait strongly indicated arthritis. It was as if he was walking sideways almost. If a cat is less mobile and has difficulty jumping up and perhaps is irritable, then he or she may have arthritis particularly if he is elderly or overweight.

If the cat does have arthritis who will be in discomfort and a good cat caretaker will not wish their cat to be in discomfort and they will want to do something about it. Perhaps a cat owner  should raise the possibility of arthritis with her veterinarian if she thinks that her cat has it. The vet can then do proper diagnosis such as x-rays.

A vet will advise on treatments, of course and there are home treatments that you can read about on the Internet. As far as I am aware, there's not much you can do though and I'm sure that part of the treatment is painkillers.

The photo is by Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue on Flickr

Friday 4 April 2014

Andean Mountain Cat Camera Trap Photographs

This is a video of camera trap photographs of the elusive Andean Mountain cat. This is the most endangered wild cat species in the Americas. Almost the only way to photograph this cat is through camera traps although Jim Sanderson has photographed this cat with a regular camera as far as I am aware. Nearly all the photographs that one sees of this cat species on the Internet are by Jim Sanderson. You see the same photographs over and over again because there are so few photographs of this cat. Jim Sanderson PhD is the world's foremost small wild cat species expert.

This cat is about the same size as a regular sized domestic cat. However, you would not mistake this cat for a domestic cat.  The wild look and the thick tail are notable differences. The Andean mountain cat tail is thicker and more functional. The tail of this cat is used for balance negotiating rocky slopes etc. in the Andes. The coat is pretty much a regular tabby coat so this is a tabby cat but a rather special one as there are only about 2000 of them on the planet. Thank God they occupy remote places because if they didn't there would be none left already.

Lack of Proper Oversight Of Cougar Hunting In America

Big cat rescue make a point that had occurred to me for long time which is that the state governmental agencies who regulate the hunting of the cougar are funded through the license fees that permit people to hunt. This must be an incorrect and ill-thought out process.

If the regulatory agencies are funded by license fees then they will naturally wish to hand out as many licenses as they possibly can which will lead to a tendency to issue too many licenses for the sake of increased income. If too many licences are issued then too many cougars are shot and in addition the regulatory agency is no longer doing its job in protecting wildlife and ensuring that there is a balance between people and cat.

Because too many cougars are shot, the agency then have to sell the idea to the public that there are plenty of cougars about. Do they concoct sightings and are the sightings of escaped pet cougars?

The fees earned through licences should go to the state treasury and the regulatory agencies should receive a fixed budget from the state government. There should be no motivation or bias created through income. Their role is not to be a business but to be a totally unbiased regulator whose underlying goal is to protect wildlife and maintain a balance between wildlife and people. Even that goal is impossible because the population of people is consistently growing and therefore the balance between people and wildlife is consistently changing in the direction of less wildlife and more people. So where is the balance between the two?

I can remember the shell oil spill. Do you remember that? It was a massive ecological disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The way I see it is that the regulatory authorities dishing out licenses to oil companies were getting backhanders to allow unsafe practices which in this instance led to this massive ecological disaster.

I have no evidence to support my allegation but that's the way it seems to me and it is very similar to what is going on with respect to the wildlife and fishery agencies. They simply are not doing their job.

I also reminded of the Florida panther. The population of the Florida panther is fixed and about 100 and they live in a fixed island (meaning enclosed and a fixed size) habitat. Commercial development continues to take place in Florida placing ever more pressure on the habitat of the Florida panther. There are more buildings, more roads and more people in the same space. What is the wildlife agency doing in Florida to protect their precious cougar? Is someone getting backhanders? And I'm cynical but that is the way it seems to me.

Dead Cat Bounce

"Dead cat bounce" is an obnoxious phrase to a cat lover. The phrase has nothing to do with cats really. It has everything to do with finance.

In finance, a dead cat bounce refers to a temporary recovery in the price or value of the declining stock of a company or stock market. The stock of a company refers to its value with respect to shareholder's interests. That, in any case, is my understanding of the meaning of the word “stock".

The phrase was apparently made up by a couple of journalists - Horace Brag and Wong Sulong - working for the Financial Times. The Singaporean and Malaysia stock markets fell rapidly and then bounced back. In a report on this event these journalists concocted the phrase, “dead cat bounce".

To this couple of journalists the phrase was appropriate because to them even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height and the stock market, I presume, had fallen from a great height and then bounced back a little bit.

Of course, they could have picked any number of inanimate objects to use in their concocted phrase but chose the domestic cat above everything else, which, to me, indicates a rather unpleasant attitude towards the domestic cat. Although, no doubt I'm being overly sensitive but I've always disliked this phrase as it appeared to me to have come from insensitive people.

What about these alternatives:

“Squash Ball Bounce"
“Dead Person Bounce"
“Smart Phone Bounce"

None of them sound as good as the original partly because we are used to the original but they are all more decent and respectful of the domestic cat than the original.

Are Your Living Conditions Unsuitable for Cat Welfare?

Are your living conditions suitable for your cat? Are your living conditions good enough for you but not good enough for your cat so that you could end up being prosecuted as a criminal in the United Kingdom under the Animal Welfare Act 2006? You might think that this is some sort of joke or spoof article but it is not because it actually happened to an amateur folksinger who lives in Hull, England.

Apparently, in the UK it is possible for a person to decide that their living conditions are suitable for them, although they might be poor living conditions in terms of clutter and lack of cleanliness, but aren't suitable and substandard for their cat if the RSPCA and the police say so.

The story concerns a lady whose name is Ms Nadian. I won't go into the full details but you can read about her story on this page. She was prosecuted for several things concerning her cats, one of which, incidentally, was failing to take a veterinarian's advice in euthanising one of her cats. As it happens, all the prosecutions were dropped due to a lack of sufficient evidence. In reality, it was the gradual dawning upon the prosecution (The Crown Prosecution Service) that this was a misguided prosecution.

Apparently, the RSPCA called the police requesting that they enter the lady's home to take her cats. We are told that the police failed to obtain a warrant to enter her home. The police forced the front door down claiming to exercise powers under section 17 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, a provision which covers emergencies such as capturing fugitives. It was clearly inappropriate in this instance.

On entering her home both the RSPCA and the police state in witness statements that the living conditions for Ms Nadian were suitable in respect of cat welfare. They refer to strong smells clutter and filth. As I understand it, Ms Nadian would readily admit that she has difficulty in keeping her home tidy and clean for various reasons. She has been described as a vulnerable person but I would also describe her as a cat loving person and somebody who has a decent knowledge about the domestic cat.

I find it a little bit disturbing that the police and the authorities generally can decide that her living accommodation is suitable for a person but unsuitable for a cat. This, on my reading of this situation, is what has happened in this instance.

This whole matter has been badly handled, in my opinion. What this lady required was some help to perhaps tidy up her home and that simple matter would have resolved the whole thing. Ms Nadian's new veterinarian has undertaken to monitor her cats while this lady's bungalow has been cleaned and tidied. Problem solved.

Neither this lady nor her cats should not have been put through this highly stressful situation by an overzealous RSPCA and unthinking police. The whole matter was kick-started by a rather nasty veterinarian who disliked the fact that this lady disagreed with her regarding the euthanasia of one of her cats. The veterinarian reported her to the RSPCA for something which the lady was entitled to do, as it happens.

In any case, it would seem that quite possibly hundreds of thousands of people living in the UK who look after a cat or cats are open to a charge of failing to provide a suitable environment for their domestic cats to live in under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Do you find that rather shocking? I do.

Cat Found in Charity Sofa

This little feline story is an amusing warning to others and a lesson in cat behavior and how they can hide in places and be difficult to find and see. A couple bought a sofa from a charity shop. The three-seater sofa had been donated to the charity shop run by St Luke's Hospice, Grays, Essex.

Emanating from this desirable piece of furniture was a meow, a soft and muted meow. The meowing came from a cat whose name is Crockett. The purchasers investigated and noticed two claws poking through the fabric of the couch. They had purchased a sofa with a cat inside it, an added, little bonus!

Crockett's owners, Pauline and Bill said that there had been very upset to lose him. Apparently, Crockett has slipped into the sofa as it was being taken apart before being moved.

Talking about cats and furniture, I have another warning concerning loungers. These are pieces of furniture which change shape and in doing so the machinery underneath the chair can crush a small cat or kitten who happens to have crawled into that space.

I do not think that furniture which changes shape such as loungers or chairs that are suitable for senior people are in fact suitable for homes where there is a domestic cat. It is too dangerous for the cat. It's as simple as that. Unless the owners do something about the chair and modify it slightly to make sure that it is safe and that it prevents the cat from crawling into the space below the seat, then personally I would not recommend that a cat owner buys one.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Feline Excess Urination

A person visiting a major website about the domestic cat said that he was on a fixed retirement income, had not taken his domestic cat to the veterinary surgeon and that his cat was urinating much more than normal and he wondered why. He said that he was going through about 90 lbs of cat litter every month compared to 35 pounds normally and he wanted some advice.

The obvious answer is to take the cat to the vet but it is amazing how often people don't want to do that and they ask questions on the Internet and hope to get a good answer and fix the problem which is highly unlikely, meanwhile his cat is suffering.

One of the feline diseases that causes this is diabetes. The cat does not produce enough insulin. This results in an elevated blood sugar level. In turn, excess glucose is eliminated by the kidneys resulting in frequent urination. As a result, the cat drink more water.

Another disease that causes a cat to drink more water and urinate more often is kidney disease. Both diabetes and kidney disease are fairly commonplace amongst the domestic cat population. And both of these diseases cannot be cured by a cat caretaker. They both require careful handling and a proper diagnosis.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease can result in frequent urination and passing blood. The cat may urinate outside of the litter box.

Increased drinking and urination with very dilute urine may indicate that a cat has Cushing's disease. About 75% of cats with Cushing's disease also have diabetes mellitus. This is not a complete list.

There's no doubt that when a cat is consistently peeing more than normal, as a matter of urgency, the cat's owner should take her/his cat to the vet.

Early Humans Defended Themselves against Sabre-toothed Tigers With Spears

About 300,000 years ago sabre-toothed tigers were roaming around North Central Germany near Hanover. We know this because the remains of a sabre-toothed tiger were preserved in rock strata 300,000 years ago. I think it is worth stating at the outset that the sabre-toothed tiger is not actually a tiger as we know today. It was a different species of wild cat. It is probably more sensible to describe the cat as a “sabre-toothed cat".

The estimates are that this large wild cat weighed nearly 440 pounds. It had razor-sharp claws and canine teeth that were more than 4 inches in length. Clearly, this was a formidable predator for early humans.

Humans would have defended themselves using a 6 foot to 7 and 1/2 foot long spear. The spears were used as hunting weapons. It has been speculated that the early humans of this era hunted hores and in the area in question they camped along a 300 foot stretch of a shallow lake.

Source: a report by the Lower Saxony Heritage Authority.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Cat Facial Expressions

I would expect that a lot of people would say that cats do not make facial expressions. People who live with cats and who love their cats and therefore know them will understand that cats do make facial expressions. They are more subtle than the facial expressions of people. Is that because there are less facial muscles and/or because the feline face is covered in hair? Or perhaps a cat has less emotions that a person and therefore does not need to express them so much through his or her face. I'm not sure, but I am sure that cats do make facial expressions and here's a very good example:

This photograph has been praised, in fact, for showing both the human and the feline expression. This white cat with a very charming face has a very concerned and anxious expression. There is also a slight indication that she is relieved and that she feels secure being held by this fireman who himself has an expression which conveys to me that he is genuinely concerned about this cat's welfare and that he is pleased to have saved her from a fire.

It is a good photograph because, for me, it shows both human and cat in a similar light; both under some stress, both showing expressions that reflect the circumstances under which they have come together. It's a photograph of equality. I like that.

Cat Food Wars - Dominance and Subservience

This is not exactly a war over cat food but you can see how stresses can be built up in multi-cat households in areas where there are food bowls and where there is the cat litter. Cats will or might compete for either. These are areas where a hierarchy between cats is shown up and where a dominant cat will push out a more subservient cat.

I think this is quite an interesting animated GIF, which are a series of still images strung together to make a video that repeats itself. Each image is in the GIF format.

Clearly in this instance the ginger tabby is dominant over the bicolour ginger and white who is overweight so perhaps being pushed out of the food bowl is a good thing. I wonder if the slight overweight problem that the bicolour cat has is linked in any way to his or her subservience to the ginger cat? Perhaps he's pushed out and therefore he is keen to get at the food when there is a chance and hence he eats too much as a precaution against not being able to get to a food bowl when they are put down.

The experts would say that it is important to make sure that a subservient cat has a place to hide and then each cat gets its own food bowl and as best as possible is allowed to get to it. Cat litter trays should also be considered carefully in multi-cat households because you can get competition around a cat litter tray. All this means is that the subservient cat is liable to become stressed and it is a cat owner's duty to make sure that all her cats are content!

This does, though, seemed to be a setup situation. Although, it does not detract from what can go on in multi-cat households.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts