Monday 31 May 2021

Adorable moment US man rescues kitten trapped in wall

There is something very satisfying and pleasing to see an "ordinary man" struggling and working hard, showing determination and persistence, in order to extract a kitten from behind a wall. The moment of rescue is always elating. That certainly occurred in this instance. And the kitten is incredibly cute too. You just wonder how this cute kitten ended up behind the wall but they so often do! Or that is the way it looks by the number of rescues like this that take place.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Kitten rescued from wall cavity
Kitten rescued from wall cavity

18th-century poet, Christopher Smart, while in the London madhouse Bedlam wrote a poem about his cat Jeoffry

This is a touching story about the tragic 18th-century poet Christopher Smart. He was indeed smart being a distinguished Cambridge scholar and a fellow of Pembroke College before he descended into debt and poverty which led to ill health. You wonder whether actually he suffered from poor mental health. Perhaps not but he ended up in debtors' prison where he eventually died in 1771. 

Christopher Smart poet
Christopher Smart poet. Image in public domain.

Perhaps his mind was affected by the terrible travails that he endured as he was confined for several years to solitary confinement in Bedlam aka Bethlem Royal Hospital, also known as St Mary Bethlehem, Bethlehem Hospital. He languished in his dark rat-infested cell and composed a meandering, long poem about his pet cat, Jeoffry, called "For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry"

I am able to reproduce a long extract thanks to the website:

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.

For having considered God and himself he will consider his neighbor.
For if he meets another cat he will kiss her in kindness.
For when he takes his prey he plays with it to give it a chance.
For one mouse in seven escapes by his dallying.
For when his day’s work is done his business more properly begins.
For he keeps the Lord’s watch in the night against the adversary.
For he counteracts the powers of darkness by his electrical skin and glaring eyes.
For he counteracts the Devil, who is death, by brisking about the life.
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.
For he is of the tribe of Tiger.
For the Cherub Cat is a term of the Angel Tiger.
For he has the subtlety and hissing of a serpent, which in goodness he suppresses.
For he will not do destruction if he is well-fed, neither will he spit without provocation.
For he purrs in thankfulness when God tells him he’s a good Cat.
For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon.
For every house is incomplete without him, and a blessing is lacking in the spirit.
For the Lord commanded Moses concerning the cats at the departure of the Children of Israel from Egypt.
For every family had one cat at least in the bag.
For the English Cats are the best in Europe.

For he is the cleanest in the use of his forepaws of any quadruped.
For the dexterity of his defense is an instance of the love of God to him exceedingly.
For he is the quickest to his mark of any creature.
For he is tenacious of his point.
For he is a mixture of gravity and waggery.
For he knows that God is his Saviour.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For there is nothing brisker than his life when in motion.
For he is of the Lord’s poor, and so indeed is he called by benevolence perpetually–Poor Jeoffry! poor Jeoffry! the rat has bit thy throat.
For I bless the name of the Lord Jesus that Jeoffry is better.
For the divine spirit comes about his body to sustain it in complete cat.
For his tongue is exceeding pure so that it has in purity what it wants in music.
For he is docile and can learn certain things.
For he can sit up with gravity, which is patience upon approbation.
For he can fetch and carry, which is patience in employment.
For he can jump over a stick, which is patience upon proof positive.
For he can spraggle upon waggle at the word of command.
For he can jump from an eminence into his master’s bosom.

For he can catch the cork and toss it again.
For he is hated by the hypocrite and miser.
For the former is afraid of detection.
For the latter refuses the charge.
For he camels his back to bear the first notion of business.
For he is good to think on, if a man would express himself neatly.
For he made a great figure in Egypt for his signal services.
For he killed the Icneumon rat, very pernicious by land.
For his ears are so acute that they sting again.
For from this proceeds the passing quickness of his attention.
For by stroking of him I have found out electricity.
For I perceived God’s light about him both wax and fire.
For the electrical fire is the spiritual substance which God sends from heaven to sustain the bodies both of man and beast.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For, though he cannot fly, he is an excellent clamberer.
For his motions upon the face of the earth are more than any other quadruped.
For he can tread to all the measures upon the music.
For he can swim for life.
For he can creep.

Comment: I find the stories very sad because her was a clever and talented man who loved cats and sought solace in writing about his cat when confined to a cell in a horrible place where he should not have ended up. It was just the way it was in 1763 which, as I understand it, is the date of the writing of this poem. Christopher Smart lived between 1722-1771. Today he would have been cared for sensitively in the UK. He would have recovered and lived a decent life with his cat. Apparently, he shared his miserable accommodation with his cat Jeoffry.

Sectoral heterochromia in an all-white cat

This is called sectoral heterochromia. It is rare and beautiful. No health issues. You do see it in domestic cats. The cat is all-white. It is the dominant white gene which affects eye pigmentation creation in the embryonic stage. It causes the removal of melanin pigment across a part of the iris. The blue color is caused by light refraction only (not blue pigment). The yellow by pigment (eumelanin). All-white cats have no pigment in the hair strands. This is why they can get sunburnt ears - no pigment to block sun and in any case the hairs are thin there.

The normal, most common, sort of heterochromia in cats is when they have odd-eyes. One eye is blue and the other is yellow normally. But there are various types of heterochromia and the one we see on this page is called sectoral heterochromia because each eye is divided up into two colours i.e. there are two sections to the eyes. Turkish Angoras sometimes have odd-eyes and they are favoured. They are often all-white cats too. The classic real Turkish Angora is all-white with odd-eye colour.

The cat below looks a bit like an Angora but is not to the best of my knowledge.

Sectoral heterochromia in an all-white cat
Sectoral heterochromia in an all-white cat. Photo:

Indian celebrity actresses such as Disha Patani indirectly promote cat welfare

We are seeing more news media articles about celebrity Indian actresses with their domestic cat companions in loving embraces and I love it because it will boost cat welfare and I would hope animal welfare generally in India. 

Disha Patani with her purebred cat
Disha Patani with her purebred cat. Photo: Instagram.

It appears that the best-known Indian actresses are admired by Indian citizens and therefore they have a role to play in modifying the behaviour of people. They can lead the way and we often see, nowadays, these wealthy Indian actresses living in fancy apartments in cities with glamorous, full-time indoor, purebred cats. 

They make for good photographs but the underlying message I would hope comes across which is that cats should be treated in a kindly way and looked after well. They should not be street cats living miserable lives as so many do in India and of course in other countries. I'm not going to criticise India for this because there are far too many unwanted, stray and feral cats in the world for my liking. It is a symptom of a failure in the domestication of the cat. It is time we made more effort to stop it.

So here we have Disha Patani, an Indian actress who works primarily in Hindi films I'm told by Wikipedia. I am also told that this is her real name and it seems that she is trained as an engineer. Is that correct? It might well be.

Note: This is an image from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

In the photograph on her Twitter tweet, we see her cuddling what I believe to be a Himalayan purebred cat which is a pointed Persian cat. In this instance I think this is a lynx-pointed Persian. Or the cat is a Ragdoll. The cat is certainly purebred. The photograph has received 1.6 million likes in 19 hours!! She has 44 million followers! That is the power of female celebrity. Let her use it to the betterment of animal welfare, please. She can do so much. I don't know whether she is involved in animal welfare matters and whether she campaigns on animal welfare issues. I hope so because, as mentioned, she has the clout to make some changes in the right direction. And there is a real need in India to improve animal welfare.

There are too many sad, street cats for my liking but, as mentioned, that applies to very many countries in the world. So, we can't single out India as that would be unfair. India does have a fledgling cat fancy by the way. I think I may be partly responsible for instigating the beginning of the cat fancy in India. They do like their purebred cats but they seem to be confined to the Persian which is by far their favourite and which they call the "punch-face" Persian. Not a great description because it implies that you punch the face of a cat to squash it and make it flat which is the requirement under the breed standard (the flatness not the punching!). That is another story because flat faces are not healthy faces! It distorts the facial anatomy leading to breathing and other problems.

Objectifying women - the cycle that constantly reinforces it

This had nothing to do with domestic cats directly but I feel compelled to write about it because I see it all the time and it annoys me. Indirectly what I am saying affects cat welfare. Celebrity woman can dress more functionally and promote cat welfare in one of many ways. They have the clout.

I want women to be totally equal to men but if celebrity women wear sexy clothes and the news media reports on it as the Daily Mail has done in this example then we simply reinforce the objectification of women and we ogle them as some sort of sex objects. It has to stop. Note: Sexual objectification is the act of treating a person solely as an object of sexual desire.

Objectifying women. The cycle the reinforces this concept.

A celebrity woman wears sexy clothes and the news media report on it, such as above: Mabel sets pulses soaring in a figure-hugging halterneck jumpsuit. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. And some women complain about being objectified. A lot do as far as I can tell. Do they really mean it?

As it happens so much, maybe this is the way it should be? Maybe this is the male-female relationship. But I hear women complaining about being objectified as sex objects. They want to be treated as equals and I totally get that and support the goal. 

But when they dress in sexy clothes (which is perfectly okay) and they are reported in the news media as illustrated by the Daily Mail online newspaper we reinforce the objectification of women. They are nothing more than to be looked at for their appearance. That is the role of women in this vicious cycle which constantly reinforces this stereotype. 

If women want to break out of it, they have to wear loose fitting boring trousers and cover up their torso. In short, they should dress more like men which they will totally hate and it is an untenable idea. 

They want to be attractive and they do it for themselves. It's instinctive. It is part of their DNA and inherited genetically. It is meant to attract for mating purposes. There has to be a compromise somewhere down the line which means wearing less sexy clothes and the news media stopping these sorts of headlines.

The trouble with writing about women on a cat website is that Google never finds the page and therefore nobody reads it! Which is why I have to write this incredibly quickly because I am basically wasting my time. I hope somebody reads it and comments. I will waffle on to make the page larger which may help Google find it.

It is beyond time that this unhealthy relationship between celebrity women and the news media is broken. It simply reinforces over and over again that women are sex objects. Both parties are equally to blame. I don't want to spoil the fun because I know women enjoy wearing these sorts of garments but there is a much wider issue, one of equality, total equality and the way men perceive women. 

If men perceive women as sex objects, they are never going to be equal in the wider sense. Certainly, many women are completely equal in the workplace and in life generally but overall, you see a lack of equality and it is deeply entrenched.

By equality I don't mean that women should do men's work. They don't need to behave like men and become directors of companies which is a miserable job. Trying to force women into top executive jobs in big companies I think is unhealthy as well because I don't think women are geared up for that kind of role. You have to be a completely driven testosterone-fuelled male to do that. But there are many roles that women can fill and they should be allowed to do them in an atmosphere of complete equality.

Sunday 30 May 2021

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) residents will have to confine their cats to their homes

The ACT government has plans to confine domestic cat to their homes from July 1, 2022 regardless of the suburban where they live. It's called the ACT Cat Plan 2021-2031. It's a policy which has been developed in consultation with others including environmental groups and cat owners which is designed to "help cats live longer and healthier lives while better protecting native wildlife."

ACT Legislative Assembly
ACT Legislative Assembly. Photo in public domain.

There are already cat containment regulations with respect to 'containment suburbs' in Canberra. Outside of "declared suburbs, cat containment will only apply to new cats, because we understand that existing cats and their owners may not be prepared or used to containment", said ACT Minister for Transport and Silly Services Chris Steel.

The new rules will also allow owners in cat containment suburbs to take their cat for a walk on a lead. This is currently prohibited. At the moment there are 17 cat containment suburbs in the ACT.

The maximum penalty for breaching the new local laws will be AU$1600. Steel said that the ACT is a leader in introducing cat containment. This is certainly correct. I do not know of any other country where these concepts are in place and being expanded. It is certainly part of Australia's desire to protect native species. It comes with a package of procedures including the destruction of feral cats designed to protect, primarily, small Australian native ground dwelling mammals but birds and reptiles too.

There are other plans to encourage responsible cat ownership. They say that there are seven other strategies to be rolled out over the next 10 years, one of which is a compulsory requirement for new cat owners to register their cats in the way that dog owners do currently. And from July 1, 2022 new cat owners will have to pay a fee when they register their cat for the first time. Registration will need to be updated annually. Existing cat owners will also have to register but there will be no fee.

The authorities say that they estimate free roaming cats kill 61,000 native birds, 2000 native mammals and 30,000 native reptiles together with 6000 native frogs annually, on my understanding.

They believe that domestic cats confined to the home can still live happy and contented lives. This is true but there are more demands upon cat owners to ensure that their cats are stimulated for obvious reasons. Confined domestic cats live in an artificial world and there has to be some substitutes to nature within that world to which domestic cats are attuned. They need the sights, sounds stimulation of nature.

I do not believe that the average cat owner will be able to satisfactorily substitute what their cats will be missing once they are confined to the home.

The Conservation Council ACT Region welcomed the plan but said that they could go further and also that they could introduce it sooner. They say that it is wrong to allow one more year of newly-acquired cat be free to roam and hunt.

Australian citizens can have their say online. If you are interested you can read about the government's vision and the ACT Plan 2021-31 by clicking on this link.

What percentage of people hate or love cats?

It would be interesting to know the percentage of people who love cats compared to the percentage of people who hate cats. There are no statistics on this so we don't know! There is a third category: people who are ambivalent i.e. neither love nor hate cats. I am referring, of course, to domestic cats.

As there is no data on this, I'm going to suggest a figure: 20% of people dislike cats, 60% like or love cats and the remainder are ambivalent i.e. 20%. That is a wild guess, straight out of the top of my head without much thought. The general idea is that more people like or love cats than those who dislike or hate cats. And we have to distinguish between people who dislike them and those who hate them. The number of people in the latter category are relatively small and they are a danger to the animal.

They are predisposed to abusing cats, shooting feral cats (in America legally or illegally) and generally misbehaving with respect to stray an outside cats. There's lots of videos and articles about, normally teenage, boys abusing outside cats for their entertainment. Quite horrible and ridiculous because they end up uploading a video that they made of their abuse to social media which then gets around and they end up with a knock on the door by a police officer.

The same distinction must go for loving and liking domestic cats. True cat lovers are quite rare relatively whereas there are many millions of people in say America who like cats but don't necessarily live with one. Like all things in life there is a wide spectrum of attitudes towards companion animals.

It is important, from my perspective, that parents educate their children to at least respect animals and I am referring to all animals. They should learn that although they might fear cats or even dislike them for whatever reason, they should respect them and leave them alone, at least. It stops and starts with the parents and education. Animal welfare is about knowledge and education. The more you understand animals the less likely you are to disrespect and abuse them.

DISAGREE WITH ME ON THE NUMBERS? Please comment and tell me why.

Saturday 29 May 2021

Brave mother cat climbs through fenced gate with kittens in mouth

You have to be very impressed with this mom. She is brave and strong. She finds a way through this gate which is a considerable obstacle for her. She manages by using all her athleticism and courage. A testament to the strong mothering instincts of the domestic, stray and feral cat. You see the classic scruff of the neck 'bite' of the kittens which pacifies them allowing her to take control without interference from struggling kittens.

I am sometimes astounded at the skills of feline mothers in their abilities to overcome obstacles when relocating her family to a new den. They move their kittens quite often depending on the potential threat. This cat is clearly a community cat or she may be a working cat. It is clearly a building that is in use.

Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den
Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den

Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den
Community cat navigates through a tricky barrier with her kitten in her mouth to relocate to a new den

During the first weeks after birth, the mother provides three essentials: milk, warmth and security. She also has to stimulate urination and defecation. Kittens cannot manage this on their own. They lick each kitten's genital region at regular intervals which stimulates them to evacuate and she consumes what they produce to keep the nest clean and dry. The kittens begin to taste solid foods as they move into the second month of life. If the nest is approached by anyone or anything which is a threat to the kittens, she will defend them bravely and ferociously.

People still believe that the father of kittens is predisposed to killing them to bring the mother back into heat which is what you see when an incoming group of male lions take over a pride but this does not happen with respect to stray and domestic tomcats. Observations of European wildcats which is the precursor of the domestic cat reveal that far from being kitten-killers the males sometimes actively participate in rearing their young. This is been observed in zoos but in the wild where cats have very large territories the chances of a tomcat coming across a female in her den with her kittens is quite remote and therefore there is little opportunity for him to exercise paternal care and even paternal infanticide.

Dr. Morris says that in a zoo setting where there is a greater likelihood of a tomcat meeting his kittens one of four reactions occurs: he simply ignores the kittens or behaves paternally towards them or the female attacks him as he approaches and that drives him away and fourthly the male kills the kittens but this is extremely rare. The three former ways are more likely. Dr. Morris explains the reason why a tomcat might kill his kittens and he describes the event as accidental. 

He tries to mate with a kitten and grabs the kitten by the scruff of the neck in his mouth as is typical for a male cat mating with a female. The kitten struggles and he bites tighter and tighter and finally kills the kitten accidentally. That is Dr. Morris' explanation of how a male stray or domestic cat might end up killing his kittens but this is not deliberate infanticide.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Do veterinarians have to report animal abuse in the USA and UK?

Until April 24, 2020, the state of Kentucky was the odd man out in terms of veterinarians having a duty to report animal abuse to the authorities. On that date Kentucky governor Andy Beshear signed Senate Bill 21 into law which empowers veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty.

Tabby cat at vet
Tabby cat at vet. Pic: Pixabay.

And so, in the US, veterinarians in all 50 states have a mandatory duty to report animal abuse if they have reasonable cause to know or suspect that the animal has been subjected to cruelty or animal fighting and they shall report the matter to local law enforcement or bureau of animal protection.

In the UK, there is currently no mandatory reporting by veterinarians of animal abuse. It is obviously a difficult subject and there are privacy issues and I guess difficulties in making an accurate decision. There is an article on the BMJ website which states that UK veterinarians need special training to report cases of suspected animal abuse and neglect as per research published online in Vet Record. The purpose would be to boost confidence and skills in this difficult task.

There is a fear that the veterinarian will be breaching client confidentiality unjustifiably resulting in a loss of earnings. You could foresee the potential damage being incurred by the veterinarian's practice if they get it wrong. It could also leave the vet exposed to a claim in defamation.

A study found that in the UK around one third of veterinarians said that they had seen a case of suspected animal abuse in the past year but only 46% of these veterinarians had reported it to the authorities.

There is a known link between animal abuse leading to human abuse and violence against people. Therefore, it is clearly important to report animal abuse to the authorities. The recommendation to train veterinarians on this topic appears to have been mooted in late 2019.

I need some help on this because I do not see any search results indicating that the recommendation has been carried through to fruition. What I am thinking about it this: if veterinarians are trained on spotting animal abuse, they could adopt the US mandatory requirements if they have reasonable cause.

I don't have info on the rules on this topic in other countries. I'd expect there to be the same sort of ambivalence and difficulties. It is a very tricky topic. In the world of humans, there are many incorrect diagnoses of child abuse leading to parents losing their children for months and longer and being ostracised highlighting the difficulties.

What is a Javanese cat?

The term 'Javanese cat' is confusing. This can happen sometimes in the cat fancy. There is some confusion surrounding the Siamese family of cats and the Javanese is in that 'family'. It depends where you are as to what it means.

Javanese cat
Female Adult Blue Lynx Point Javanese Cat
 photo: Wikipedia.

Years ago, I wrote about this so I'll use my own words. This description applies to the USA:

"If the Balinese is a “Modern” Siamese with long fur, the Javanese is a Balinese with “unconventional” (non-traditional) points. Confused? It is also described as an Oriental Longhair with points."

To put it another way, in the USA, the Javanese is a longhaired, contemporary Siamese cat with pointing that is not of the traditional colours such as lynx points (tabby), tortoiseshell points, cream points and flame points. By 'contemporary' I mean the super-slender body conformation compared to the regular domestic cat body conformation which is popular nowadays.

In New Zealand, according to Dr. Morris (Cat World), 'Javanese cat' means a longhaired Siamese cat with spotted or self-coloured coats (having only a single and uniform colour).

In Britain, Dr. Morris says that the term means "long-haired Oriental cats, originally bred to recreate the Angora."

Like I said it is confusing. As the US is the world's biggest marketplace for purebred cats by far, I would take the US definition as the most used and definitive.

Ritualistic shampooing accepted by patient domestic cat standing on hind legs

This patient domestic cat knows what he is about to receive by the look of his patience as he waits to be shampooed. It seems to be a ritual. The cat politely complains but accepts the shampooing. It is very cute because it appears that the owner has done this a lot and her cat has learned to accept it without question except for the faint complaint.

Cat in Asia is shampooed standing up on two legs
Cat in Asia is shampooed standing up on two legs.

It is unusual to believe that you have to shampoo your cat regularly. In this instance it maybe because the cat is a community cat living outside a lot with the greater possibility of getting dirty. But I think it is more to do with the attitude of the woman caring for her ginger bicolor cat. She is treating him as a child. You can see her washing his bottom and tail as if she is washing the bottom of a baby. There may be a culture in that country to do this. She may be doing it to get rid of fleas. The better method would be to use a flea comb twice per day. Healthier for the cat and more effective.

It is nice that she has this close bond with the cat but she needs to be aware of the unnaturalness of bathing a cat so often (if that is the case). It can dry out the skin and it certainly removes all the cat's scent. If there are other cats who are friendly with this one, they will no longer recognise him for a while. There may even be a fight as a consequence.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Kim Jong-un wants to destroy all cats and pigeons in North Korea

COMMENT BASED ON NEWS FROM THE MIRROR NEWSPAPER: The madman with the funny haircut (short back and sides), the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-un wants to destroy all cats and pigeons in North Korea because he believes that they bring Covid-19 from China, across the border, and spread the disease in his country. China and North Korea are separated by two rivers, the Yalu and the Tumen. He has issued a command to his indoctrinated and subservient citizens to tell them to destroy all cats and pigeons. The man-God has commanded. Apparently, some North Koreans are shooting at pigeons as they fly across the border between North Korea and China.

Kim Jong-un. Mad as a fruitcake.

In one particular example, a family on the border between North Korea and China at Hyesan, Yanggang Province were ordered to face 20 days in isolation because they ostensibly illegally raised a cat following in order not to do so in this border region.

Hyesan, Pic: Google.

The family told the authorities that their cat died but the cat was seen near a fence near the border and this resulted in them being detained. Border patrol guards tried to capture the cat unsuccessfully. Eventually the cat was caught apparently and taken away. I have to presume that he/she was killed perhaps cruelly by the authorities.

This reminds me of the Mau Tse Tung era when he ordered that all sparrows, I think it was, be prevented from landing on the ground or in trees and so the citizens made a lot of noise which resulted in the birds dying, perhaps of exhaustion, which led to other issues including, I recall, health issues regarding insects and crops being damaged by insects.

Comment: it is clearly completely objectionable and frankly diabolically cruel for this dictator to order cats to be destroyed like this because it flies in the face of scientific knowledge. It's complete balderdash and nonsense. The man has confirmed that he is as mad as a fruitcake. It is bound to lead to cat cruelty on a gargantuan scale and it is quite horrible to contemplate.

Perhaps, however, many citizens will resist carrying out this order as the family mentioned did. They can't see sense in it. Although many North Korean citizens appear to be indoctrinated into believing that the little man with a funny haircut is genuinely a God and to be worshipped and followed to the ends of the world.

This dictator needs to study a bit of science or at least read the newspapers to find out what the true situation is regards domestic cats and coronavirus. They rarely get the disease and when they do, they get it from people. They are normally asymptomatic or they suffer mild symptoms. Currently, there is no evidence that they spread the disease back to people although there are concerns that they may form a reservoir with other animals of the disease going forwards.

The critical point, though, is that they do not present a problem in terms of spreading the infection to the best of our knowledge and therefore it is clearly, as mentioned, an act of gross cruelty to make an order to destroy them for no purpose other than to please this deranged individual. It proves his ignorance of animal welfare and insensitivity to cats and all animals.

Domestic cats don't understand smartphone and iPad cat games

This video tells us that when push comes to shove cats are bemused by mice and fish wriggling around computer screens. They want to look under the device and are generally confounded by what they see. They have a similar or same reaction to looking at their reflection in a mirror or when watching television. I have seen cats look behind the TV to find the cat on the screen. Their mentality is rooted in reality. They can only understand natural events because they don't understand human devices. And rightly so. They are not meant to understand them. Link to this video (opens new tab/page)

Domestic cats are bemused and ultimately frustrated by phone cat games
Domestic cats are bemused and ultimately frustrated by phone cat games. Screenshot.

So, the question which comes from this observation is whether the phone and iPad cat games are a minor form of cat cruelty. A very minor form of it. They can't be defeated. The cats can't attack the mice and fish and eat them. This might cause minor frustration and confusion. It we deliberately frustrate our cat is that a form of minor cat cruelty? Maybe, but the intentions are very genuine. Cat owners want their cats to be entertained and there are a lot of apps on phones and iPads which purport to achieve this. 

It is just that they are unsuccessful in the long term. Short term they work but soon the cats realise they can't get at the prey animal leading to frustration. The bottom line is that the best cat toys are the old-fashioned ball of paper and string. They invariably work well and both can be damaged by the cat which mimics a real prey animal. Do cats scratch iPad screens when playing with games?

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

'Sneaky' stray cat tries to 'steal' dog's food. Sad video.

This, for me, is a sad video. It appears to be in a country other than in the West but I could be mistaken. The dog is tied up with a chain and clearly lives outside the home in his dog kennel and provides security to the family. An incredibly unfulfilling life of great restrictions and limitations. It is cruel in my book. This sort of human-animal relationship is over. Humans can do better. It requires education. Ignorance is a huge ball-and-chain on humanity's progress.

Stray cat tries to steal dog's food
Stray cat tries to steal dog's food. Screenshot.

The cat is a stray and hungry and so tries to "steal" the dog's food without success because the dog wakes up and chases the cat away, which may be a good outcome because dog food is not good for cats. It's okay on a one-off basis but eaten regularly it would lack sufficient nutrients for a cat. The cat would become ill eventually.

I hate to see dogs tied up like this. It is banned in some countries because it is inherently cruel. It is the product of human ignorance and insensitivity towards animal welfare. Further, stray cats are also a product of human failure. 

There should be no stray cats in an ideal world. In a better world this dog would be living in the home he is meant to protect and the cat would be living with him, cuddling up and enjoying his life. What we see in this video is a symptom of human failure.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Cat sits on owner's lap and reacts 'weirdly' every time he spins a coin

The title to this Daily Motion video is in fact: Cat Sits in Owner's Lap and Reacts Weirdly Every Time he Spins Coin on Table. And although the grammar is poor that is not the point. The word "weirdly" is the problem for me because I do not think that this cat is acting weirdly. I think we can explain what he or she is doing. 

Cat prepares to pounce on spinning coin
Cat prepares to pounce on spinning coin. Screenshot.

You can see the cat placing their right foreleg over their eye and partly over their head when their owner spins a coin on the table. I think this feline behaviour is misleading because all the cat is doing is preparing to pounce onto the coin. 

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

The position of the foreleg is incidental. It looks rather strange and as if the cat is deliberately making this action for some 'weird' reason but he is not. He's simply holding his paw and leg in this position so that it is ready to grab the coin. The cat perceives the coin as a prey animal. It is moving in an interesting way which catches his attention and to all intents and purposes it is prey to be attacked and in the last segment of the video he does just that.

So, this is predictable feline behaviour and it's a game. All cat play is based around hunting and attacking. That's why it is said that the best cat toys are those that can be destroyed by the cat because the toy better replicates or mimics an animal to be hunted, destroyed and eaten. When domestic cats become bored with toys that have been brought with great care by their owner, it is because they can't be destroyed as they are made of plastic. The argument is that cat toys should be made of some other destructible material.

One of the best toys is a ball of scrunched up waste paper. That can be chucked around by a cat and partially destroyed by raking the hind legs over it as it is grasped in the forelegs. Home-made toys are often better than the commercial variety.

Friday 28 May 2021

Read this if you are old and you might die and have full-time indoor cats

There is a story emerging from Spain which is a bit of troubling because I can see other households suffering the same outcome. In this instance an elderly Colombian lady, Clara Ines Tobon, who had lived in the northern Madrid neighbourhood of Fuencarral since 1996, died. She had some pet cats. We don't know how many. It is believed that she died three months ago. 

Some think that she died of Covid-19. The cause of death is unimportant. The important aspect of the story is that nobody knew about her death and she had some pet cats who appear to have been full-time indoor cats with no way of exiting her property. That is the way I have interpreted the story which I think is reasonable because the cats ate her in order to survive.

For illustration purposes only. Photo: Pixabay (modified)

The upper part of her body was partially eaten by her pet cats. They say that there were two surviving cats that were taken to an animal rescue centre. That statement implies that some of the cats did not survive but detail is missing in the story with respect to her domestic cats which is the part that interests me.

She obviously lived alone and appears to have done so for a very long time. So, under these circumstances it seems to me that a cat owner needs to have at least one friend who should be given instructions to come into the property if they do not receive a response to their phone call on a daily basis. Or perhaps it might be every couple of days. But there needs to be some method to notify a next-of-kin or friend that a cat owner has died in their home. And if not died, is injured and cannot move and therefore cannot feed the cats.

We don't know how commonplace this sort of story is but I would expect it to happen not to infrequently and it is a genuine risk because there are an increasing number of full-time indoor cats who don't necessarily have access to the outside. They are basically prisoners in their owner's home and therefore they rely upon the owner to be in a position to look after them. That is a position of responsibility and therefore they have a responsibility to think through what would happen if they should die. It takes proactive action.

Super pretty female all-white British Longhair kitten born March 2021

The video, photograph and the breeding is by Альбина Шконда, Moscow, Russia. A wonderfully pretty kitten. The British Longhair is less well-known than the shorthaired variant but more beautiful. I am surprised the breed is not more popular. Read more on this breed by clicking on this link.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Cat refuses to drink water except from cupped hands. Why?

This is about a feline drinking problem and a cat whose owner posted a request for help on the website. He said that his cat would not drink water except when he cupped the water in his hands and presented it to him. He's tried everything possible including changing the water receptacle and using different kinds of water including bottled water. He could not go on doing this because he wasn't at home all the time and his cat was becoming dehydrated. 

I'm not sure how the story ended because it's about six years old but he received some good answers mainly about changing the receptacle. One person thought that the cat could not recognise the water and suggested that he put a ping-pong ball in it.

Cupped hands holding water
Cupped hands holding water. Photo: Pixabay.

I would suggest that the problem might be to do with the odour of the water. When it is cupped in the hands of the cat's owner the water would smell of the body odour of the person. Cats are very much into the scent of their owner. They recognise their owner by their scent. It is possible that this cat is very anxious and timid and needs the reassurance of his 'surrogate mother' (owner) to drink and he achieves this by drinking from the hands of his owner. He will even lick fragments of water from his owner's hands rather than drink in the normal way.

If I am correct and it is about the smell of the water through the person's hands then the problem may be resolved by using a water which is as near as possible without smell, such as bottled water, pouring it into a receptacle, ideally a glass receptacle, and dipping his hands into that receptacle and aerating the water with his hands for about 20 seconds. 

That should deposit some of his scent into the water to make it smell a bit like his hands. That is quite a big guess but I have a feeling that the problem is not about recognising the water but about the bond between the cat and the person which in this instance is very strong. The cat needs to feel that he is being nursed by his owner. I think it's an act of nursing, a throwback to when he was a newborn kitten.

In fact, this cat may have been weaned too early and this may be an example of behavioural problems due to early weaning - not uncommon. That's my best guess and I think it is worth a try. Unfortunately, the problem was discussed about six years ago, as mentioned, and therefore my thoughts cannot be relayed to him in comments on the website because comments have been archived.

Thirsty cat adopts bizarre posture to drink from water basin - NO!

The title to this post is the title given to the video on YouTube but it is inaccurate. This is not a bizarre posture but a very clever and natural posture which allows the cat to stretch over to this large receptacle of water and drink from it. 

Skinny tabby cat  uses his athleticism to drink from a large receptacle
Skinny tabby cat uses his athleticism to drink from a large receptacle. Screenshot.

I love the athleticism that this skinny little tabby stray cat demonstrates. It is another example on video of the extraordinary athleticism of the domestic and feral cat. 

You probably know that domestic cats prefer to drink from what appears to us to be dirty puddles and polluted water but which in fact is pure from the cat's perspective than tap water. Tap water contains chemicals to keep it pure and to protect the health of people but domestic cats can smell this, they can smell the chlorine and fluoride that is in it and prefer rainwater although it might have collected some pollutants in the air as it falls to the ground. 

They don't mind these perhaps because they can't smell them. I believe that cats pick up the unnatural smells of tap water which puts them off. They overcome it because they often drink tap water but sometimes they shun it for muddy puddles.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it. I actually expect this video to disappear within quite a short space of time because I do not think that the person uploading it is genuine. I have a suspicion that he or she is downloading the videos of other people and then uploading them to his YouTube channel. I could be wrong and if I am I apologise.

Mini-catio gives indoor cats a breath of fresh air

Here is a mini-catio and I like it. It is a compromise between a proper catio - a cat enclosure attached to the side of a house one side of which is open to the elements behind a protective mesh to stop the cats getting out - and access to the outside which can often be unsafe. 

And this little mini-catio, as I have described it, is cheap to purchase and quick to put up. That will appeal to many people. I would expect that it could be erected in as little as an hour. The only difficulty will be providing a cutout panel for the window through which the cats have access to the tiny enclosure. But these sorts of tiny enclosures can be attractive to domestic cats who are confined to the indoors. 


We know how cats like to rest in their favourite place (which they tend to change on a daily basis) and therefore a little enclosure like this can add to their menu. It would be an extra place where they can go to. It would add a little bit to their lives and make it more colourful and interesting. In short, it would be a way of enriching their environment inexpensively. For that reason, I would heartily recommend it. 

Anything that can make the life of a full-time indoor cat were enjoyable must be welcome. It won't suit everybody because a lot of people are too houseproud to have this sort of construction sticking out of it. It doesn't look great but it is effective.

On a separate subject, I note that the person is jacking up the tunnel with Tidy Cats litter boxes or that is what it appears. The lightweight version of this cat litter is problematic as allegedly there have been some deaths from it because it creates too much dust. You might like to read about that by clicking on this link.

Thursday 27 May 2021

Dual use cat and human furniture is a cool idea


There are not many items of furniture that we can share with our domestic cat companion but this is one of them. What I particularly like about it is that it provides a hideaway for a timid cat. I would suggest that this item of furniture, which you can buy on Amazon in America but not the UK is ideal for a timid cat. And I think it is nice to be able to share furniture with cats. It helps to promote the concept that the human home is not only for humans but companion animals as well. Human homes should be 'catified' to use the language of Jackson Galaxy. I know that it can be difficult to do that because people are often houseproud and they want their home to look good from a human perspective but I think we need to put aside those limitations if we live with a cat or dog. Cats are particularly in need of a modified house because they enjoy vertical spaces. Any interior designs created for a cat loving family should include objects which allow vertical movements.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Naming and shaming: Mark Anthony Scott and his brother Stephen Scott who starved their cats are banned from keeping animals

This is just a little vignette, as I call it, of life in the home of a couple of idiot and cruel brothers in England who starved their cats and left a dog with an untreated skin condition. RSPCA inspectors made several visits to their home between September 2019 in February 2020. The cats looked thin and when they were palpated the bones of their hips and spine could be felt. They showed extreme hunger when taken to a veterinarian. When food was put down, they ate immediately and the veterinarian reported severe hunger.

Naming and shaming: Mark Anthony Scott and his brother Stephen Scott who starved their cats are banned from keeping animals
Naming and shaming: Mark Anthony Scott and his brother Stephen Scott who starved their cats are banned from keeping animals. Two of the animals. Pic: RSPCA.

When an RSPCA inspector, Rachael Hurst, visited she saw a ginger shorthaired cat frantically eating something off the bathroom floor next to the toilet. One cat, a-year-old tortoiseshell was found to be emaciated and a veterinarian reported that she would have been suffering for many days before taken to a veterinarian.

Sadly, two cats had to be euthanised because they were in such bad condition. They had been taken to the PDSA for treatment.

The Scott brothers live at Vine Street, South Shields, UK. They were sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 19 May 2021 after being found guilty in their absence. In other words, they did not attend the hearing. The probably failed to turn up.

These two need to be named and shamed for their cruelty. These cats could have starved to death and it appears that they were not far from it. Such cruelty. We don't know how the RSPCA got involved. Perhaps somebody reported them. That is the usual way these acts of cruelty are exposed.

It seems that they semi-abandoned the cats and a dog who was in a bad way. The court found that Mark Scott "permitted the failure of another person to provide adequate nutrition to the cats and failed to supervise his brother in caring for them". It looks to me like a case of acute neglect, simply shutting one's mind to the fact that they were starving cats to death. Incredible irresponsibility. A complete lack of sensitivity towards animal welfare. I don't know why they weren't fined heavily or even sentenced to serve time in prison. That's what I would have given them if I were the judge. We don't have photographs of them, sadly. They will look like uneducated idiots.

Mother hen 'incubates' three tabby kittens

And extraordinary little video of a mother hen 'incubating' her three kittens! They crawl out from under her protective care in what appears to be a barn in Iraq. That is all we know. Except that it is not uncommon for mothers of one species of animal to raise the offspring of another animal. It is nice, isn't it? It is good to see. It restores our faith in the world or at least a little bit! Mothers do it naturally and humans do it too, all the time. These are interspecies relationships. I hope they make us more aware of the sentience of animals. An awareness of animal sentience improves animal welfare. Click on this link (opens new window) to see a cat protecting chickens! The exact opposite.

Mother hen raises three tabby kittens
Mother hen protects and incubates three tabby kittens.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

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