Wednesday 9 December 2015

Domestic Cat First Brought to Australia in 19th-Century

It appears to have been confirmed that the domestic and feral cat in Australia was first introduced onto that continent in the 19th century by Europeans. This probably coincided with the 162,000 convicts which were transported to various Australian penal colonies by the British government between 1788 and 1868. I, for one, had always thought that that was the case. We know that there are no wild cats in Australia and there never has been because of the water barrier between the Asian mainland and Australia.

A study examined the genetic structure of Australia's feral cat populations and found the link, it appears, to 19th-century European immigrants. I say European because that's what my source says but it seems to me that most of the Europeans would have been British.

Before the study there are various suggestions as to where this "invasive species" had come from. Perhaps, it was suggested, they come from ship's cats or European explorers in the late 18th century. Others had postulated that Malaysian fishermen, in the 17th century, had brought cats with them to Australia.

Other cats were deliberately introduced into certain parts of Australia in order to control other species of animal such as rats and in one case this applied to an island. There are misconceptions and misleading articles about how cats devastated bird populations on certain islands in Australia. You will find that on occasions these articles misdescribe what has happened. Sometimes domestic and feral cats are scapegoats in Australia. In one case rats not cats killed the birds after the cats were killed by humans. Typical human stupidity.

Yes, the feral cat is an invasive species in Australia but that is the fault of humans. As it is the fault of humans it is beholden upon humans to do the right thing (e.g humane processes) in order to control feral cat populations on that continent. This, regrettably, is not happening as there have been several proposals to eradicate feral cats all of which have been very cruel, impractical, unhelpful, and doomed to failure but they do indicate a distaste for the feral cat on that continent by the authorities.

Shelter Kitten Euthanised Because She Was Black

At a shelter in or near San Diego, USA, a tiny black kitten named Ember was euthanized (in truth killed) because she was considered to be either unfriendly or unadoptable. No doubt she was considered to be unadoptable because black cats are unpopular. They are not unadoptable and neither are they unfriendly. They are just unpopular because people still harbour strange misconceptions and superstitions about black cats even today in the 21st century.

The shelter concerned changed their policy in July 2015 to allow them to euthanize animals that they considered to be unfriendly or unadoptable. It is, though, a bit of a shock to read that they decided that a small, sweet black kitten was automatically deemed to be unadoptable without any effort to see whether she could be adopted. Sometimes somebody comes along who is unconcerned whether a kitten is black or any other colour. Couldn't they have tried a bit harder? It all seems very harsh to me.

The same shelter, through San Diego County officials, have acknowledged that many cats are killed by animal services at the shelter simply because the shelter runs out of space. This may be true but I wonder how committed they are to exploring alternative ways to find adopters for their cats rather than through the conventional channels.

Some shelters use enlightened ideas to maximise the chance of adoption and these shelters have lower kill rates. It is, as usual, about commitment and valuing the lives of each individual cat.

This information comes from the San Diego Union-Tribune via the Santa Maria Times.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Kiwi Cat Hoarder Fails in Bid to Overturn Ban on Keeping Cats

Fifty-one-year-old Tatyana Kondratyeva (she must be of Russian extraction) was convicted on animal cruelty charges and banned from owning animals for ten years. The reason she was convicted is because she hoarded 50 cats in appalling conditions. There were 38 dead cats in freezers etc.! We know these sorts of cases and this appears to be clear cut cat hoarding/cruelty.

Her appeal to New Zealand's Supreme Court (the highest court in the land) via a failed Appeal Court application, was based on the absurd claim that only 22 of the fifty cats in her "care" were suffering significant health problems! That is more than 50%. Come on Tatyana! Your application was flawed and doomed to fail from the outset. She has more money than sense.

It makes me wonder why someone with a bit of money was so negligently cruel to so many cats.

She also argued that New Zealand's prohibition orders lacked clear criteria. This was a technical point she was trying to use to her advantage but failed.

In any country there will be a very small proportion of cat owners who end up becoming cat hoarders and nearly all cat hoarders end up inadvertently being cruel to the cats in their charge. It is about neglect and a lack of moral bearings. They just don't get it. They don't understand that they are being cruel.

Often cat hoarders have mental issues but not always.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Do Cats Fart?

Domestic cats do fart but, in my experience, it is silent. Put it this way, all the cats that I have looked after have passed wind at sometime or other but not very often and I've never heard the process taking place.

There is no reason why a domestic cat should not pass wind just like humans. Their anatomy is very similar to ours. In fact, I am sure that most cat owners have smelt the effects of their cat passing wind. If it happens a lot I would ask questions such as whether your cat might be ill or whether the diet is correct. A cat should not pass wind regularly or to the point where it becomes an issue or noticeable.

The reason why I have written this very short post is because people search for the phrase: “Do Cats Fart?". I'm not sure why people are so interested in that particular aspect of the domestic cat's anatomy but there it is. It just goes to prove that the domestic cat is very similar to the human in many areas.

Monday 23 November 2015

1,500 Kittens Graduate from ASPCA Kitten Nursery

Because Of the influx of kittens during the summer breeding season, we know that animal shelters throughout the USA are inundated with young and newborn cats who are effectively homeless. Because of this perennial problem the ASPCA opened a new facility in 2014 to deal with the regular influx. The facility is dedicated to the treatment of newborn cats. These cats are too young to survive on their own and they need specialist care which is resource-intensive. The facility provides a service to the Animal Care Centres of New York City in 5 boroughs. The facility has 200 adjustable cages which can accommodate either a nursing mother or orphaned kittens. In all, the facility can accommodate 2,000 kittens during the breeding season which is between April to the end of September.

The ASPCA are proud to announce that between the date that the facility opened in May to November 10, 2015, 1,500 kittens have passed through the facility. The staff decided to celebrate the moment and their achievement. They had a “pomp and circumstance" ceremony. Two dozen kitten nursery staffers attended wearing suitable T-shirts and even mortarboards as if it were real graduation ceremony. The kittens are then moved on to the next phase in their life which is to seek an adopter.

The level of care provided at this kitten nursery is awesome. During the 6 months it was open to the 10th November more than 50 ASPCA workers worked 24 hours per day in up to nine-hour shifts to provide top quality care. I don't think you could do more than that. The Nursery's Medical Manager, Sabrina Velasquez said that the experience has been extremely positive.

The last stage for the kittens before adoption is to pass through the spaying and neutering process. The Medical Administrative Assistant, Chrissy Martinez-Munoz, works out the schedule for the operations. She said: “I'm the last stage before they go to adoptions, so by the time they reach me, they're halfway home..."

One of the staffers, Teandra Hendry said: “It's rewarding to see them go from not wanting to eat, to putting on weight, then developing personalities and becoming ready for adoption."

This is a fantastic facility and they deserve to celebrate their success. I'm pleased to write about it. It is always a pleasure to write about successful cat rescue particularly when it concerns the most vulnerable.

Real Fur Cheaper Than Fake Fur Resulting in Fresh Fraudulent Activity

In a perverse reversal of roles retailers and manufacturers are misrepresenting, sometimes fraudulently, the sort of fur that is on the products that they sell. What I'm saying is that the price of real fur from animals usually bred or stolen in China and brutally slaughtered for their fur has fallen to such a level that is now it appears to be cheaper than fake fur.

As a result, manufacturers use real fur rather than fake fur. As a further result, in order to prevent animal lovers from knowing about this, they represent real fur as fake fur. This is an extraordinary development and a worrying one because it indicates that there is an oversupply of real fur which further indicates that the production the real fur is increasing while demand is saying static or reducing.

I fear that production is increasing which means that there's a lot more animal cruelty of the most horrendous kind taking place in places like China where for example the raccoon dog is farmed for its fur and domestic and stray cats and dogs are rounded up from the streets and stripped of their skins.

Apparently the price of a 70 cm strip of real fur is about one dollar, which is quite extraordinary and shows the pitifully low value of the lives of the animals which have been forced to give up their skin to satisfy consumer demand.

One disastrous aspect of this development is that animal lovers who purposefully purchase items trimmed with fake fur are now being conned into wearing clothes which contains real fur. If they knew about that they would be shocked. It is very difficult for a consumer to tell the difference between fake and real fur.

However, if the consumer looks at the tip of the fur it goes to a point when it is real. Fake fur does not have that same feathering towards a tip. In addition, if the fur is parted and the base of the fur is observed you will see that it is affixed to the skin of the animal. You don't get that with fake fur. Purchases of items which contain fur should check these points before buying it because, as mentioned, there is a considerable amount of fraudulent misrepresentation of products in shops in the UK and almost certainly anywhere in the world.

This develop most concerns me because I know, as many other cat lovers know, that cats are brutally killed in places like China and Vietnam for their fur and sometimes eaten for medicinal reasons. It's all quite bizarre to me. It is quite harrowing and utterly immoral.

Trading standards officers in the UK have been fooled because they were unaware of this fraudulent practice. There is a lax attitude as far as I'm concerned with fur trimmings on items and there's lots of items such as gloves and jacket hoods which contain fur. Purchasers should be aware.

This problem is also big in America. There are insufficient controls. It is time that the trading standards authorities became tougher on Chinese importers.

"Pompous Albert" Is a Purebred Haughty Version of Grumpy Cat

I think that Pompous Albert is the first purebred celebrity cat as far as I'm aware. Not only that, he is quite a rare purebred cat because he is a Selkirk Rex. Not many people look after a Selkirk Rex. They look a bit like sheep! They have this thick wavy coat and their appearance underneath the coat is somewhat like a British or American shorthair.

Talking about appearance, Pompous Albert, certainly has his own distinctive look which as his name indicates is pompous with a certain amount of grumpiness combined with a haughtiness resulting in a unique un-catlike appearance.

When some visitors see him they ask whether he is actually a domestic cat such is his arresting appearance. He lives with Susan and Michael Singleton of Salt Lake City. He is seven years old. His appearance has remained unchanged since the day he was born.

He spends his days in the offices of the Singletons' fine art publishing business with two cat companions. Cats are great in the workplace. He is named after Albert Einstein apparently so we will have to assume that Albert Einstein was quite pompous.

He has the grumpy cat glare, while the haughtiness comes from the upward turning eyes, I would say. The Is
eyes are marked out very nicely with heavy black eyeliner. It's more a glare actually, a glare which says he does not suffer fools gladly.

He is a typical cat with one or two small exceptions. For example he likes to be vacuumed! Most cats run away from vacuum cleaners but apparently he likes to be vacuum cleaned. Rarely cats like this because it feels good but normally the noise terrifies cats. He attacks paper shredders and photocopiers and printers. He likes kids (that's an excellent quality).

He has 30,000 followers on Instagram which is fantastic but it's a long way short of the fame of the all conquering Grumpy Cat. Grumpy Cat has earned an estimated hundred million dollars for her owner, Tabatha. We don't know the exact amount but that's a guesstimate. No cat is going to beat that ever.

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Is Scaring Cats with Cucumbers the Funniest Thing You'll See?

On one website it says that scaring cats with cucumbers is the funniest thing you'll see today. I don't think it's particularly funny. Why should it be funny to scare a cat? It might look amusing to a person but it is still scaring an animal and, personally, I do not see any pleasure in doing that and I certainly don't see it being funny.

It seems to me that people find the reactions of cats to certain stimuli as funny when the reaction is extreme and strange. But this is natural behaviour for a cat. If the cat is frightened of a cucumber which is placed behind him then there's a good reason for his reaction. Perhaps the cat believes that the object might be a predator of some sort or a danger to him. Cats are not familiar with the appearance of a cucumber. Why should they be? If the cat is uncertain about what the object is then he initially will be anxious and in some cases scared. However, not all cats react in this way. It is about individual cat behavior. We should not imply that all cats are scared of the same things.

I'm just making a point in this short note. Lets be more sensible and stop thinking that it is funny to scare a cat even if the cat's behaviour might look amusing to a human. If a human thinks it is funny to scare a cat then the human has a problem in my opinion. Unfortunately, many humans have this sort of problem. It is human behavior born out of a sense of superiority over animals. Humans are not superior to animals.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Kristen Lindsey won’t face criminal charges! | PoC

Kristen Lindsey won’t face criminal charges! | PoC

This is a simple cross-post to spread the word. Please click on the above link to read about this unhappy development from the perspective of cat and animal lovers. I am sure this outcome will have surprised many but many people will also be unsurprised as there appears to be a lack of will to process prosecutions against animal cruelty. The news is disappointing by somewhat predictable.

For those who have not heared of the notorious veterinarian Kristen Lindsey please read these articles. She likes to kill animals. She made that known to us all on Facebook in her own words. Not ideal for a vet, don't you think?

Thursday 18 June 2015

Dogs Allowed in Outdoor Dining Areas in New York but Not Cats

I suppose it goes without saying that when a new law is being debated in the New York Senate concerning whether they should allow dogs to accompany their masters into outdoor areas in restaurants in the state of New York, cats are bound to be omitted from the discussion because cats don't do well on leashes, do they?  Well, a lot of cats do just fine on a leash although it does take longer to train them.  It's a great shame that cats are difficult to train to accept a leash and also that they are essentially solitary creatures and not pack animals because it makes them unsuited to accompany their owner to a restaurant or so the legislators believe.

In May 14, 2015 it was reported that the legislature of New York state were debating the right of dog owners to take their dogs to outside areas of restaurants.  The impression was that the bill would be passed.  Provided the dog is accompanied by the diner they will be allowed into outdoor eating areas.

Under the new law (not yet enacted) dogs will have to be kept on leashes.  Dogs cannot set foot inside the restaurant and they will enter through an alternative entrance.  Dogs will not be allowed into any outdoor areas where food is prepared.

It does seem very natural to allow a dog to eat with his owner because I'm sure that this happens a lot at home.  As mentioned, the bill makes no mention of cats being allowed in outdoor areas of restaurants.  Is the bill discriminating against cat owners? I wonder why they couldn't include cats into the legislation because there are cats around, as mentioned, who act rather like dogs and who are comfortable on a lead.  Provided they complied with all the rules are set out under the new legislation, I cannot see any reason why they should not be allowed to do what dogs can do.

Ah, I have just thought of a reason: the dogs will chase the cats! Therefore this is discrimination. Another form of discrimination is that cats are taken to the vet less than dogs.

The bill and the discussion indicates that people think that companion animals are inherently a health hazard to people otherwise the legislators would have allowed cats and dogs to company people to restaurants in the past.

As an aside, I consistently read that people who look after companion animals are some of the most prolific lobbyists of legislators in the USA.  They write the most e-mails and make more calls to politicians than other people.  This indicates a passion which we know that cat and dog owners have.

At the moment, as far as I know, California is the only state allowing dogs in outside areas of restaurants.

Five Female Wildcats Are the Ancestors of All Today's Domestic and Feral Cats

Gabriel and Parakeet

It seems extraordinary but based upon DNA research five female North African wildcats (felis silvestris lybica) are the ancestors of the entire world's approximate 500,000,000 house cats.  To reiterate; the research tells us is that all of today's domestic cats come from just these 5 female North African wildcats.  

The researchers concluded that five females of this species of wildcat made the transition from being wild to being semi-domesticated within settlements where they were safe from predators and where they had a ready supply of rodents as prey which infested the settlers' homes and granaries.

As all the feral cats in the world today come from domestic cats then we have to say that all of the domestic, stray and feral cats on the planet today are descended from five female cats of the species felis silvestris lybica.

The research was carried out by Carlos Driscoll of the US National Cancer Institute and colleagues including David MacDonald of Oxford University. They spent more than 6 years analysing the DNA of wildcats,  purebred cats and house cats.

They discovered that the DNA of all house cats (including of course purebred cats) fall within the DNA cluster of the Near Eastern wild cat.  This made this subspecies of wildcat the ancestor of the domestic cat.

Source: NY Times June 29th 2007. The photo is of my tabby cat in whom you can see the North African wildcat ancestor!

Eastern Cougar To Be Removed from the Endangered Species List

Camera trap photograph of cougar

The Fish and Wildlife Service propose removing the Eastern Cougar from the Endangered Species List because they say that it is “likely" to be extinct.  Therefore they are not completely sure.  The reason why they're not completely sure is because there are still cougar sightings in the east of the United States.  There are often seen in North Carolina for instance.  The Fish and Wildlife Service would say that these odd mountain lion sightings are cats that have wandered in from the west or escaped captive cougars.  They might also be from Florida where there is a small population of cougars and finally they may be incorrect sightings.

I have noticed that way back in 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service made a similar pronouncement that the cougar was extinct in the East.  The difference this time is that they are proposing removing the species from the Endangered Species List.  Obviously if an animal is extinct there is no point in listing it as endangered.

Most cougars disappeared in the nineteenth century as they were killed by European immigrants or due to loss of their habitat when forests were cleared.  In addition, the cougar's main prey, white-tailed deer, was hunted by humans and almost became extinct in North America.

One formally reported sighting of a male cougar in the east of the USA was in 2011 when a solitary young male travelled 2000 miles from South Dakota through Minnesota, Wisconsin and New York.  It was killed on the highway in Connecticut. A motor vehicle killed this cougar.  In Florida, as I understand it, the Florida panther is most often killed by motor vehicles as highways criss-cross the state.  Highways also present natural barriers to wild cougars.

I wonder how may people consider this to be a sad day to declare the eastern cougar extinct.  There is one question mark for me and that is whether the eastern cougar is a distinct subspecies.

Why Cats Purr When Under Duress

The classic reason why cats purr is because they are content.  That is the image we have but since the age of the Internet most of us now know that cats purr at other times, when for example they are in great pain, injured or even dying.  Contentment is not only the reason for purring.  Dr Morris says that this can be explained if we decide that purring is a signal indicating a need for friendship.  It is signal which says to an owner “thank you for your friendship given".

Some people still consider that purring is a mystery.  They believe that we still don't know why cats purr because it occurs on so many occasions other than when they are content.  I wonder if we can look to ourselves for an explanation.  Often when people are under duress or stress they present to the world an image that they are unconcerned.  They do this by trying to look calm and sometimes they vocalise in a way which indicates that they are calm and content.  Some people whistle when they are under stress or they might become more talkative.  Some people might hum as a way of looking calm and also calming themselves.  These are survival instincts which are still present in humans. I wonder whether these human behaviours shed some light on why cats purr when they are under duress?

My instincts tell me that cats purr when they are under duress as a way of calming themselves and presenting to the world that they are less concerned than they really are, as a means of survival.  That is my personal assessment and it is different to that of Dr Morris.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

"Vigilante" Traps Neighbour's Cat to Protect His Own

This is an interesting cat story.  It concerns the town of Bristol in the United Kingdom.  A man who says that he is an animal lover and who cares for quite an elderly cat says that he was forced to trap a neighbour's cat who he claims was being aggressive towards his cat.  After he had trapped the neighbour's cat he photographed the trap with the cat inside and attached to the photograph the words:

“If this is your cat please do the right thing and have him neutered.  No harm has come to this cat, however the cat trap will continue to be set to try and deter him."
The photograph and the text were made into a poster which he stuck up around the neighbourhood.  Antonio, the owner of the trapped cat ("Murray")  discovered the poster and was distressed to see his cat inside a trap. No doubt Murray was distressed too.  He had no idea how long his cat had been inside the cage.  He makes a good point that Murray could have ended up being in the cage during hot weather for quite a long time which could result in him becoming very ill.  He said that Murray is neutered and that he is not aggressive.

Murray the cat (SWNS)
Murray went missing last week for quite a while and when he returned he was scared of people.  This is unusual for Murray.  Murray then stop eating food and his owner thought he was unwell.

Murray's owner responded to the posters by replacing them with one of his own in which he asks the "vigilante" to come forward.

The police and the RSPCA were investigating.  Soon afterwards a man claimed responsibility for trapping Murray but he insisted that he was acting to protect his own cat.  He wishes to remain anonymous but said:

“I'm a cat lover, first and foremost.  It pains me more to see animal suffering than it does humans.  My cat in animal years is 78 years old...  My cat has befriended many cats over the years.  This new cat arrived and is doing what cats do, I understand that.  But it's particularly aggressive, I've never seen a cat like this.".

The "vigilante" consulted a local cat charity who advised him how to set the trap and provided one so that they could take the cat to a local vet and then discover who the owner was (through the microchip).  He has now decided to stop trapping cats.  He said that he will return the trap to the charity.

This is an entirely new form of human behaviour concerning the domestic cat.  It's the first time that I have read about somebody trapping a cat to try and protect their own cat.  It seems to be entirely inappropriate and quite possibly illegal.  What I mean is that it may be a crime depending upon the outcome.

My boyfriend doesn't like my new cat, so I have to give him away

What does the title mean to you?  Maybe your interpretation of the title tells us a bit about you.  It will be nice to gather some statistics about people's interpretation of the title.  You may guess that in this instance the girlfriend gave away her boyfriend and kept her cat.  Just for completeness of information, the lady's is cat is a ginger tabby-and-white and here is:

I have a sneaking suspicion that if a woman's boyfriend didn't like her new cat then 90% of the time they would keep their cat and get rid of their boyfriend.  However, there is a middle ground and that is to convert the boyfriend to like cats.  That can be done and it has been done.  For example, you can tell your boyfriend that your cat loves him.  This may at least make your boyfriend get to know your cat.  It may be better than that.  Your boyfriend might get to understand cats and when he does there is a very good chance that he will learn to like them.

A lot of the time, if a man dislikes cats it is because he does not know them.  He may have preconceived ideas about them. He may have unjustified prejudices gleaned from the Internet.  There is a lot of misrepresentation on the Internet about the domestic cat.  Then of course there is this macho culture.  But that said, a lot of women like men who like cats.  It's a bit of a turn on it seems to me.  So a man, even for that reason alone, should learn to like cats and he can do that by understanding them thoroughly.  If you understand cats you could argue that it is impossible to dislike them.

It is quite possible that on occasions a boyfriend will become jealous of his girlfriend's cat.

Blind deaf and brain damage cat looks much older than her age

This is a picture of  Bonnie.  She is 4 to 5 years of age, we are told.  She looks very much like a geriatric cat.  We are told also that she has brain damage because the car ran over her head.  This has left her blind, deaf and with a poor sense of smell apparently.  She's very well cared for.  She likes to purr.  She walks in circles which is indicative of brain damage.

On the website Reddit, participants send to her presents, and so on, to help.  She has become quite a little celebrity in her own way.  Should a blind, deaf and brain damaged cat become a little bit of a celebrity?  Well, if it makes her life better and improves her care and welfare then the answer must be yes.

Bonnie, brain damaged, deaf and blind but has a decent life.
Bonnie's life once again reminds us that disabled cats can have decent lives in the right household and with the appropriate care.  Disabled cats are very good at getting on and making the best of the disability.


Cats After Anaesthesia

If this video funny? It is meant to be. I don't think it is.  You wouldn't laugh at two old men who had just been operated upon and come out of an operating theatre after an anaesthetic and laugh like this at them if they were falling all over the place, would you?  So why do we laugh at cats who have just come from a vet and been operated upon under general anaesthetic?

I'm probably being too serious about this but I simply don't understand where the fun comes from because all I see is a couple of cats who were simply recovering from a general anaesthetic which makes them unsteady on their feet as it takes time to recover from the drugs.  I know we are supposed to be amused by the fact that these two cats are walking in what appeared to be a crazy manner but we know the reason why and the reason is serious.

Update:  I have since discovered they have they have cerebellar hypoplasia. All the more reason to not laugh. It is depressing when people laugh at cats under these circumstances.

I don't think we should laugh at cats when the surrounding circumstances are serious.  I don't think we should be amused by cats when the cat suffers from a genetic/congenital defect which is the case, quite often, with cats who have surprisingly appearances.  There are a number of cats who we might describe a celebrity cats who have congenital defects causing them to seem amusing to people who I would describe as unsophisticated.
I don't like seeing cats laughed at just because they are deformed or because they are drugged up as these two cats have been.  It is unfair.  And I'm not anthropomorphising cats when I say that.  I am simply respecting the domestic cat. If we laugh at cats under these circumstances it indicates that we disrespect the cat and when we disrespect to cat we are likely, or it is possible, that people will abuse the cat or at least treat the cat in the less than proper manner.

That is my argument and reason why these videos should not be on the Internet in my opinion.

Thursday 28 May 2015

Cat Falling: Heart Stopping Video

Well, I hope you found it as heart stopping as I found it. It is a bit shocking. We don't know if the cat was uninjured despite running away. Cats do this even when injured. Such a fall may have injured he chest and/or chin.

I'd be surprised if he/she was uninjured. What was she doing trying to climb that wall? And what is the person doing recording the moment? Was it set up and why did the cat turn near the top?

He actually recorded it using a motor driven still camera as this is an animated gif file, not a true video although I call it that for convenience.

Friday 22 May 2015

Lawyer for Kristen Lindsey defends his client in letter to Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Lawyer for Kristen Lindsey defends his client in letter to Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

This is a cross-post as I want to spread the word on this one because there is considerable public interest in the outcome of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners' investigation into the alleged criminal behavior of Dr Kristen Lindsey in killing her neighbor's cat with a bow and arrow while in her backyard.

If you click on the link you can read more. Below I reproduce the letter again. Lindsey's lawyer says that her alleged behavior has nothing to do with the veterinary profession. Do you agree that? I don't because the attitude and personal standards of a veterinarian are crucial to how she conducts herself at her workplace. Compassion is an essential ingredient to being a decent vet. Lindsey has demonstrated her fondness for killing animals - the opposite. Additionally, the way vets comport themselves outside of work impacts on the profession as a whole.

The veterinary profession must be trusted and trustworthy. All vets have a duty to promote that image. Shooting a domestic cat through the head at close range for entertainment is damaging to the veterinary profession.

Note: at this stage a court has not found her guilty of criminal behavior so these are allegations.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Are animal rights advocates extremists?

I don't believe animal rights advocates are extremists. The establishment like to label them extremists as they don't want the establishment disturbed by change. The don't want things to change because they are fine as things are; exploiting poor people and animals.

It is more sensible to describe the establishment as extremists in respect of their attitude towards animals. This is because, in the UK, they are about to reinstate fox hunting, a "sport" that is obviously inhumane and immoral to anyone with a conscience.

For donkey's years the establishment allowed cosmetics companies to test their non-essential products on animals.

Farming is part of the establishment and we know what happens on farms to animals - think factory farming.

Factory farming is extreme farming and cruel to animals yet it is accepted by the establishment. It is the establishment who are the extremists.

Then there are products such as foie gras, a luxury food beloved of the establishment and the rich, which is produced in the most cruel way.

These are only a few examples, there are dozens more.

Animal rights advocates are simply focusing very keenly on the failure of many people to relate to animals is a decent way. What is extreme about that?

Wednesday 20 May 2015

How I cured a fox of mange by hand feeding

Freddie Fox, Barnes, London

This is another cross-post. It was an event in my life about five years ago. A lot foxes where I lived had mange. Mange is an awful parasitic disease which causes hair loss and great irritation in foxes. There are many urban foxes in London.

I used to fed this female fox and she got mange. I could easily tell because her tail lost its fur. And then other parts of her body. It was distressing.

I sourced a homeopathic cure in liquid form which I poured over chicken slices. In the early hours of the morning I offered them to her and she took the chicken from my hand tenderly in her mouth. There was never any chance of a bite. She was a gentle, trusting fox.

Over many weeks her mange disappeared and her fur came back. One day under the bright sun on the manicured lawn she rolled onto her back and wriggled around in delight. She was pain free. I could tell.

From that day on I have not seen her again. I believed she had been shot by a government employed hunter who I believe cull urban foxes. This might be incorrect.

I am happy I helped her. It is horrible to see a fox suffer with mange. It kills many urban foxes quite quickly because of exposure (loss of body temperature) and diseases caused by self-mutilation in biting and scratching the irritated skin.

If you click on the link at the top of the page you'll see another picture of her in reasonable shape and another video. She came into the flat one day! Here is the video:

Interacting With A Wild Fox

UAE's destructive fascination with exotic animals

Rich arabs in the UAE tend to be fascinated with possessing exotic animals and a favourite is the cheetah. Why the cheetah? Because it is quite a shy, retiring large wild cat species which is fairly easy to handle and which has been employed for centuries to go hunting with their human 'master'.

The big problem is the rich arabs of the UAE circumvent regulations and treaties such as CITES to smuggle these animals into their country to populate their private zoos whereupon, through gross ignorance and a lack of sensitivity, they gradually starve the animal to death via neurological disorders. Some UAE residents haven't a clue how to care for a large cat. It will please and amuse them for a while and then it will die at which point, I suppose, they smuggle in another. They are disposable, you know, even if they are endangered.

Only this month a post-mortem on a cheetah revealed carpet in it stomach. It must have been so hungry it ate carpet.

These arrogant, exotic cat owners don't kill their 'pets' deliberately. God forbid. They kill through ignorance. The buyers of these animals act on a whim. It shows. No doubt they like the status of possessing an exotic wild cat. It is pathetic and sad.

And we have to criticise the people who are meant to enforce CITES. This treaty is meant to stop illegal trade in wild species but it has to be enforced if it is to be useful. Money circumvents enforcement.

Cheetahs and other large wild cat species are in the UAE for the sole purpose of entertaining the rich with connections.

There are no laws in UAE regulating private zoos. There should be. The rich arabs of UAE are contributing to the extinction of wild cat species in the wild. Something must be done. People in authority need to take steps. They need to take responsibility. They are not concerned. They are too involved with how to spend their petro-dollars.

Monday 18 May 2015

Three Siamese Cats on the Rampage

This is a nice picture:

It tells us that claws are useful so don't declaw! It tells us that cats can be a bit destructive sometimes but it isn't their fault. They are only behaving naturally in an abnormal environment that contains our possessions. If it was outside it wouldn't matter.

This is cat play. Ideally there should be specific places in the home where it can happen with a minimum of destruction but that may be somewhat far fetched.

Check out the bacteria in your cat's digestive tract

The bacteria in our digestive tract and the digestive tract of our cats is an important facet of our health. I believe that IBD in cats is caused by damaging stomach flora. Certainly this is the case with humans.

Four scientists at University of California, Davis are offering cat owners the chance to find out about their cat's digestive system microbiome.

I think this is an important study because, for example, if we say that dry cat food is far from ideal and caused health problems, studying the bacterial contents of the gut will tell us how that type of food affects a cat and whether that affect damages health and in what way.

Very little is known about a cat's gut bacteria. It would nice to discover that dry cat food causes problems because it would put pressure in the manufacturers to up their game.

Participants have to collect their cat's poop and send it to the scientists who will provide a analysis in return.

This is a ten year project. I don't have details of who to send the poop to! But a bit more research or a phone call might prove fruitful.

Certainly cat owners whose cats have known digestive tract problems or chronic health problems linked to the digestive tract should consider getting involved.

Holly Ganz is one of the scientists at UC Davis so she could be a good starting point.

Source: Kitty Kickstarter: See the Microbes That Live in Your Cat

It is almost impossible to catch cat abusers and murders

To a loving cat caretaker/guardian the death of your cat at the hands of brutal abusers is like murder. But when this happens it is all but impossible to find the murderer because outdoor cats wander sufficiently and at dusk or in the night. There are no witnesses. Even when the cat survives it is no good because cats can't be a witness.


I am indirectly referring to a cat decapitation in the UK. A vet certified that two knives were used to cut off the head of a 13-year-old calico cat whose name was Tabitha.

She was found outside in a puddle without her head. The head has not been retrieved. She was much loved. Tom Whitfield, the owner, feels it was a trophy killing. It may be. It may also be some sort black magic coven. Witchcraft is hidden in the UK but that does not mean it is rare.

The RSPCA are investigating, as usual. The vet who made clear that the killing was deliberate and by humans rather than another animal has cleared the way for the RSPCA to try and find the perpetrators.

Such macabre acts of brutality against companion animals are rare in the UK and often it is not a person but another predator who is the killer.


Tabitha was well-known and loved in the community.

Tom said:

"We have just all got so many happy memories of Tabby that it is horrible to think of her going this way. People should have have to go through what we have been through."
The people who did this are heartless, callous thugs because to decapitate a living cat is impossible for any decent, human with an ounce of sensitivity.

Poor diet causing major health problems for big cats in private UAE zoos | PoC

Poor diet causing major health problems for big cats in private UAE zoos | PoC

This is a cross-post. In the UAE - the Middle East if you want to generalise - animal abuse is not uncommon although we rarely hear about it in the West. Nearly all the stories about cat abuse come from America, not because Americans are animal abusers but because there is far more internet activity and reporting of animal abuse in America.

In Abu Dhabi,  it seems that everyone is rich and with riches comes arrogance and ignorance. Add that mentality to a desire to own a flash car and a flash cat and  you have neglected large wild cats because in Abu Dhabi flash cats means large exotic cats smuggled into the country.

A survey found that about 30 percent of the captive cheetahs and lions in Abu Dhabi within private zoos were malnourished because of  a poor diet of chicken flesh without any supplements - bones and stomach contents and added supplements.

Plain chicken meat would make any cat ill over time including domestic cats. This diet led to neurological disorders so severe that some cheetahs and lions had to be euthanised. Chronic neglect.

Not all Arabs in the Middle East are ignorant on the subject of feeding big cats. Far from it. But too many are and it has been happening for a long time without any action being taken by the authorities to curb it.

There is also the obvious matter of the unacceptability of private zoos where big cats are kept for the amusement of the rich - not good. The whole thing stinks. From the point of view of conservation is is a disaster. But they don't even think about that. It does not cross their minds.

Click on the link at the heading of the page for more detail, if you wish. The picture shows a young cheetah in Abu Dhabi smuggled their from Namibia probably. Horrible.

Revocation of Kristen Lindsey's Veterinarian's License

Complaint about vet who killed cat will take up to three years to process

This is a cross-post. The link above discusses the same topic. Don't hold your breath! I expect that you are familiar with the now infamous veterinarian Kristen Lindsey who proudly declared to the world in a Twitter feed, with a photo of her holding a cat with an arrow through his head, that she enjoyed killing him. If you haven't heard about her this link will fill you in.

A complaint was made to the Texas Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (the Board) requesting (I presume) the revocation of her license. The response was standard and it indicated that the whole evaluation process of her right to practice veterinary medicine and what they intended to do would take up to three years.

This is a lengthy timetable. Perhaps that is convenient for the Board because the longer it takes the more likelihood there is of it being kicked into the long grass and forgotten.

People have short memories and nowadays short attention spans as well. Three years is more than adequate for this grizly episode to be buried. That would be a shame because Lindsey has declared that she takes pleasure in killing animals and in this instance she allegedly killed a neighbor's cat with an arrow who happened to wonder into her backyard. Her mum took the photo of her. At the time the photo was taken it is said that the cat was still alive with an arrow right through his head.

She is not fit to be a vet in my opinion. The selection of vet students arguably needs to be reviewed.

Here is a photo of the letter from the Board.

Friday 27 March 2015

Some cats are allergic to plastic | PoC

Some cats are allergic to plastic | PoC

This is a cross post a to try and ensure that the information gets to a wider audience.  We know, or at least most of us know, that plastic food bowls for pets can cause the condition described as “feline acne".  This is not the acne with which humans are familiar but it is a skin condition.  It may be due to an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the plastic in the feeding bowl.

In addition, and just as serious, is that sometimes specific chemicals in the plastic can leach out into the food poisoning the cat.  This is a slow process as is an allergic reaction.  Sometimes a cat will not be allergic to plastic for a very long time and then suddenly it happens.  In addition, as I understand it, kittens and young adults do not form allergies until they are a little older and therefore a cat owner may be misled into believing that their cat is not allergic to plastic bowls when in fact they are.

I'd throw out plastic food and water bowls immediately. Ceramics are the best and they are still relatively cheap.

If you click on the link above I cover this subject in more detail.  This is simply a short post to direct people to the link above, in essence.

Veterinarians in America are underreporting to the FDA pet health problems due to defective petfood

Veterinarians in America are underreporting to the FDA pet health problems due to defective petfood | PoC

This is a cross-post. I think the subject matter is important. Through veterinarians reporting to the FDA about possible defective commercially produced petfood, the pet owner has a voice on behalf of their cat or dog against big business.  At the moment big business can do what they like, almost, with respect to what they put into and how they manufacturer pet food and we know that not all of it is good quality.

Sometimes pet food manufacturers fail to put in enough of a certain ingredient which is essential to a cat such as taurine.  If you think that your cat, and if your vet thinks that your cat, has suffered health problems because of defective cat food you should ask your veterinarian to submit a report to the FDA, in America. Without it they cannot act.

If you click on the link above, I go into this in more detail.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Do cat shelters deliberately underestimate cats’ ages?

Do cat shelters deliberately underestimate cats’ ages? | PoC

This is a cross-post because I think this is quite an interesting subject - please click on the above link. It is also quite an important subject. If a shelter cat is considerably older than as advertised by the shelter then the adopting person is liable to encounter more expense because of the increased likelihood of health problems associated with an older cat. Also older cats can contract chronic conditions, which are stressful to deal with for both owner and cat.

If some cat shelters do deliberately underestimate the age of their older cats, I don't really blame them because all they are doing is trying to rehome their cats as soon as possible as this saves lives. There has to be a reasonably speedy turnover otherwise available space dries up at the facility leading to more euthanasia.

Monday 19 January 2015

Muslim terrorists are part of Islamic Faith - President of Muslim Association of Britain

A few minutes ago, on BBC News, the President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), Omer El-Hamdoon, said that the Muslim terrorists were on the fringes of the Islamic Faith. This means they are part of the faith, the religion of Islam, and not external to it.

We have heard many politicians, including the Prime Minister, imply that the Muslim terrorists are not part of the Islamic faith but a perversion or distortion of it.

But as they are part of Islam then surely we have to discuss all of the Islam faith and therefore all Muslims when we discuss the terrorists. Many Muslims say that the terrorists/extremists are not true Muslims but the President of MAB implies very clearly that they are true Muslims but on the fringes of Islamic beliefs.

I believe this is significant, which is why I am referring to it here on a predominantly cat website! It puts pressure on all Muslims in Britain to quench the rise of fundamentalist terrorist Muslims in the country. The Muslim leaders in the UK need to do much more. Speaking out against it is not enough

Note: I deplore the deaths of innocent lives in Pakistan by US drone attacks. The US needs to be criticised strongly for this. However, they would not be there if there were no terrorists there.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Yanks versus Brits. Inside cats versus outside cats. Who is correct?

Yanks versus Brits. Inside cats versus outside cats. Who is correct? | PoC

I want to spread the word so I am cross-posting. Please click on the link above if you're interested. It's about making decisions based in the particular circumstances of each situation rather than dogmatically deciding cats are okay outside or inside.

Photo: Denis Defreyne
UK cat rescues who insist on their cats being allowed outside without supervision or, in the USA, they might make the opposite demand, should reconsider and refine their policies to one which fits the situations rather then relying on a one-size-fits-all policy.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Legislation to Ban Cat Declawing Introduced by Assemblywoman

Legislation to Ban Cat Declawing Introduced by Assemblywoman

Please click on the above link and then spread the word. If this bill succeeds it'll mean that declawing is banned in NY state and that means a massive step in the right direction. It will be the first state where it has been banned. Thank you.

Monday 12 January 2015

Timeline of the Cat

Timeline of the Cat | PoC

This is a cross-post (please click on the link above). I have written up a fairly comprehensive cat timeline with the major events. I have been selective as you have to be because there is too much.

The timeline goes from the first cats on the planet to the present day. All the action that we know or are concerned about in relation to the cat is compressed into the last 100 years.

But the timeline starts up to 20 million years ago. We are not that interested in what happened 20 million years ago but it does make the timeline complete and provides a nice counterpoint to the modern events.

Domineering Men Do Not like Cats

Dominating men do not like cats because the cat is free and will never consent to become a slave.  He will do nothing to your order, as the other animals do.  The words are those of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

James Boswell. He wrote a famous biography of Samuel Johnson

He was making a clever observation about James Boswell.  James Boswell was the servant of Samuel Johnson.  Samuel Johnson, as you probably know, loved cats and he looked after a series of cats the most famous of which was “Hodge".

James Boswell admits that he suffered from Jonson's intimacy with his cat Hodge because he was an ailurophobe -  he had a fear of cats and therefore became uneasy if a cat was in the same room as himself.

Samuel Johnson would personally go out to buy food for his cat Hodge (as reported by James Boswell).  He would do this because he did not want his servant (companion and Samuel's biographer) to feel imposed upon and end up disliking his cat.

So what about the idea that domineering men do not like cats?  Well, I think the observation has to be correct.  In the past I have talked about the alpha male human and his preference for dogs as a leader of a pack of dogs. As the domestic cat is an independent creature and has no hardwired innate necessity to be part of a pack he/she will normally reject any attempt to be dominated by a human caretaker.

If a human caretaker tries to dominate his domestic cat he will simply alienate him/her.  It will end up in tears and a failure.  So let's agree that Mr Russeau is correct.

Sunday 11 January 2015

UK - Don't Buy a Pet On Gumtree

The story concerns a dog, Kai, and I am sure that a lot of people have read about this.  The dog was left abandoned on a railway station with all the bits and pieces that a person needs to look after the dog in a suitcase.  It was the classic Paddington Bear scenario.  There was uproar as to how somebody could leave a dog on a railway station, so cruelly abandoned and the abandonment was highlighted by all the accoutrements the person needed to look after the dog being left on the railway station as well.

As it turns out, the story isn't a simple case of the abandonment of a domestic animal.  I believe that we can lay the blame for this act of apparent domestic animal cruelty at the feet of a commercial organisation: Gumtree.  Gumtree is a bit like Craigslist in America.  It is the American version of it.  Anybody can sell anything on Gumtree.

In this instance we discovered that a lady, Fin Rayner, had left the dog at Ayr railway station, Scotland.  What happened was she had responded to an advert for the dog on the Gumtree website; the dog had been advertised for £400.  The dog is a cross breed shar pei.
'I went to buy a dog but the dog was not the same as the picture advertised.'
When she met the seller, a man, she realised that the dog was not the same animal that she had seen advertised on Gumtree and, in addition, she noted there was a problem with the dog's eyes (probably a breeding problem). She became suspicious and, in response, the seller asked for a deposit of £150 if she wanted to take the dog for a walk.  She appears to have done that but she hadn't got far before the man disappeared with her money.

Things got worse because the dog was clearly nervous and unsettled as he was peeing everywhere.  The lady felt she had not bought the dog and having tried to call the seller to return to collect his pet without success she decided to get on the next train to Glasgow and before doing so she told a member of staff at the station that the dog belonged to somebody else. She abandoned the dog.
She said: 'He lied about the dog. I can't believe he did this....I've been shaken for days....I don't think people should sell dogs on Gumtree.'
The moral of the story is that you should not buy a dog on the Gumtree website despite the fact that there are many cats and dogs and other pets on that site.  You simply cannot be sure what you are buying.  There is not only a problem in respect of the buyer but also the animal.  Many buyers will also be unscrupulous leaving the animals exposed to abuse having been sold on perhaps for animal research or perhaps dog fight baiting.

Of course, not all sales of domestic animals on Gumtree go wrong but the whole process is simply unethical and liable to go wrong and I'm thinking of the animals more than the people.  It is disrespectful to advertise them online.

The reason why the seller wanted rid of his dog is because he/she had an eye problem requiring surgery, the price of which was £1,000. He could not afford it. A vet did the surgery for free probably organised by the Scottish SPCA.

Friday 9 January 2015

Justin Bieber's Fake Penis

Forgive me for the title and that there isn't a cat in sight.  It is just that this is so modern. The fakery.

Apologies for the rude title but it is honest.
It is isn't just fake muscles and fake chest and whatever else has to be fake in a fake world. Bieber has to make his penis look bigger in his underpants.

Big deal. I don't know whether he agreed to this Photoshopping. He should have vetoed it. He should have asked questions. He seems to have let his "advisers" take charge and make him look silly, to be candid.

When this sort of fakery dominates the online media there is little chance for people to comprehend the reality of the current situation regarding the plight of the wild cat species. Their conservation is failing but few people have registered that.

Whoops....I have mentioned a cat.

Thursday 8 January 2015

Riverview Sphynx cat found with dart in head

Riverview cat found with dart in head - WFLA News Channel 8

Calico Sphynx and bolt
The abuse that we see in the photograph is not unusual, to be honest. There's quite a lot of cat abuse of this sort and it takes place anywhere. In this example it took place in Florida, USA. It looks as though somebody with a crossbow shot at this cat from behind, aiming towards the cat's head and just connecting with the head sufficiently so that the bolt pierced the skin but not the skull thereby allowing the cat to survive.

The usual aspect of this photograph is that the cat is a Sphynx cat and a calico Sphynx, at that, so the cat is rare. Another unusual aspect of this story is that the cat was obviously outside wandering around so somehow the cat got out while the owner was away. This sort of cat breed should not be allowed to go out and I know the owner knows that but extra precautions should be taken because these cats are hairless or almost hairless and they are not suited to outdoor roaming for all kinds of reasons one of which is that they are extremely noticeable and therefore can be stolen and another is that anatomically they are unsuited to life outside the home as, for example, they can get sunburned or feel the cold. These are obvious points.

The cat's name is Akila. Tyra Bulluck is the owner.

The photograph is by Animal Coalition of Tampa.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Ambulance sent out for cat with diarrhea

In the UK there is a well-publicized crisis unfolding in the accident and emergency (A & E) departments of hospitals.

There are many reasons for the huge increase in the numbers of people presenting themselves at A & E, one of which is that the NHS 111 system is failing in that it directs too many people to A & E because it is run by an algorithm (a computer program) and the computer programme plays safe and defaults to A & E.

The NHS 111 system is a telephone, call center helpline to which people who have suffered an accident can telephone for advice. It used to be manned by nurses but is no longer.

The employees at NHS 111 are laypeople who are briefly trained and who rely on their computers to make decisions (to provide the advice to the caller).

An anonymous whistle blower disclosed that on one occasion, "One call handler sent an ambulance to a cat with diarrhoea". This shows that both the call handlers and the computer algorithm are unable to consistently make the right decisions thereby highlighting the failure of the system.

The government now understands where a major reason for the A & E crisis lies - thanks to a cat.

I wonder what the doctors at the hospital did about the cat's diarrhea ;) .

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Cat Behaviorists Should Be Scientifically Qualified

Cat behaviorists should be scientifically qualified because cat behavior is a science. There has to be a good knowledge of the behavior of animals generally and specifically the wild cats. The cat behaviorist should ideally be a zoologist and an ethologist (scientific study of animal behavior). Ideally they should have a good academic qualification in zoology and ethology. I am thinking of a doctorate from one of the world's top universities.

The problem for me is that nearly all cat behaviorists dispensing advice on the internet are unqualified academically in a relevant science.

I know that years of observation of cat behavior is great training and is almost enough but a hard, scientific background from a university where the undergraduates have to think out the box and post-doctoral researchers create something new is the best training for a cat behaviorist.

These sorts of people don't necessarily follow the crowd. They decide for themselves. You'll see that internet cat behaviorists nearly always follow the same arguments. That is not necessarily a poor thing but an open, enquiring mind is better placed to provide the best answers.

Vets are often not best qualified to discuss cat behavior. General animal behaviorists may not be sufficiently experienced to advise accurately on cat behavior. Not all information on the internet, which is where most people do their research, is reliable.

I'd advise a good book by a well qualified author over casual internet research although the latter can add to the former.

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