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.

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