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Showing posts from September, 2021

China: three domestic cats euthanized after they contracted Covid

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NEWS AND COMMENT - HARBIN, NORTHERN CHINA: This is the first time that a government agency has killed domestic cats because they'd contracted Covid-19. Or at least it is the first time that such an action has been reported in the online news media.  This is unrelated to the story except that it is in China. Pictures in public domain. Image by MikeB. Ironically, the owner of the three cats tested positive for Covid on September 21 and went into isolation after leaving food and water out for her cats. Therefore, there is a strong suggestion that she gave her cats the virus. And further in a rather bizarre twist, the cats were euthanized because they might spread the disease to people and there is no treatment for Covid in cats. Update : Some sites give Miss Liu the title Mrs. They say her cats were killed while she was in hospital.  That's the reason given by the authorities in Harbin, northern China. And yet, all the experts say that it is unlikely that cats can transmit Covi

Blind rescue cat has two feline helpers (for now)

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NEWS AND COMMENT: This story comes from Sioux City, USA and it's a cute one. The Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue report that they rescued a tuxedo cat who was born without eyes. They named him Keller. The cat was not neutered, either. Once in their rescue centre he was lost and bewildered. That, of course, was to be expected. So, within a day they rescued a female cat which they decided is his mother and helper. Blind cat Keller on the left and his two feline helpers a young tabby female Trixie and his sick mom. Photo: Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Immediately on her arrival at the shelter they became inseparable. They stay close to each other and the female cat was clearly Keller's helper in navigating. The problem is that when veterinarians checked out Keller's mum, they discovered that she was quite ill. She had to have all her teeth removed and she had a large tumour in her sinus cavity. They removed the tumour and she appears to have recovered but they

Daddy long legs are not poisonous to cats or dogs

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In case you were wondering! Daddy long legs are not poisonous to cats and dogs. As they are insects a cat might be interested in nibbling one. No harm will be done. Domestic cats naturally eat insects or they might nibble on one. Daddy long legs. Image by Strudders from Pixabay   I can't bring myself to say anymore because there is no more to say. There is one page on the internet (wildlifeinformer.com) which takes about 2,000 words to say what can said in around 50. I have dragged it out by they take the prize in waffle and padding. The only added point worth making is that in some countries such as the USA there are poisonous spiders which can do genuine harm to the ever-inquisitive domestic cat. I have a several pages on that. Here is one:  Can cats get bitten by brown recluse spiders ? I also have a page on:  230 cat poisons (list) . And finally:  Insects and Snakes Poisonous to Cats (USA) .

Black cat theft warning at Halloween is trying to be helpful and not a threat

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BIRMINGHAM, UK-NEWS AND COMMENT: News media is reporting on a mysterious note that has been stuffed through letter boxes in King's Heath, Birmingham, UK. It appears that some people found this note a bit disturbing. News media state that the letter created "grave concern". As you can see it is a simple warning on lined notepaper in tidy handwriting. It is almost certain that the person who wrote it is a woman and probably a young woman. The handwriting is very female and the smiley at the end is also a female trait. This adds to the certainty that it was written with good intentions. Black cat theft warning at Halloween is genuine and not a threat. What I mean is that it is intended to be helpful. Picture: Facebook. We can only see a part of the note but my interpretation of it is that it was written with a genuine concern for black cats in the area. Perhaps one of the residents felt it necessary to provide neighbours with a reminder that black cats can be a danger dur

Should a family of five living in a compact, subsidized apartment have two cats and a dog?

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NEWS AND COMMENT: The Sun reports on the story of a family of five with two cats and a dog living in a mouldy flat in Manchester, UK. They want a three-bedroom house from the housing association from which they rent their home at a subsidised rate. They say they can't go on living in their housing association apartment because a daughter is suffering from health problems because of the mould. We don't know what is causing the mould but it might be condensation because after all there are eight sentient beings in their apartment breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide! Mum Charlotte says she cries herself to sleep as she's so desperate for her young family - and their three pets - to leave their cramped flat in Greater Manchester. Photo: The Sun newspaper. But the question I always have when I read the stories is whether this family is in a proper position to adopt (or have) two cats and a dog. Many people would agree with me and say that they were never goin

1939 Cat Stroller!

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This contraption looks more like a baby's pram than a cat stroller, which I am sure it is. I do not think that they had invented cat strollers in 1939. I have got to guess and say that this is a pram that has been "converted" to be a cat stroller. I don't mean converted in the normal sense like actual work taking place on the pram.  Cat stroller 1939! Reddit user (u/Megatonin) said "My grandmother pushing a cat in a stroller circa 1939". I mean that a cat was put inside a pram and pushed around. There is no top to it and therefore the cat can jump out at any time so, to all intents and purposes, this is not a cat stroller! It is a baby's pram but it is nice to describe it as a cat stroller.  I'm sure that back in 1939 there was no need for one because almost every domestic cat was an indoor/outdoor cat. There was no real concept of full-time indoor cats at that time and therefore there was no requirement for a cat stroller. Cats were free to come

Body parts of America's 10,000 tigers end up in China in their medicine

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Tigers are still "the chosen one" for wildlife traffickers. There are many other animals which are also abused and used but I would suggest that the tiger is the number one product to be sold. And the number one consumer is China. I'm told that the Chinese government realise that traditional Chinese medicine doesn't really work but they allow the businesses to flourish in the interests of trade and keeping the peace.  Tiger found in Houston residence was taken to a rescue facility. Photo: Godofredo A Vasquez/AP. The trouble is that President Xi has no concern about wildlife conservation and in particular the tiger population which is being decimated by Chinese traditional medicine due to poaching. Yes, China has a large number of tiger farms where tigers are treated as livestock, like cows , but when you treat tigers like that you inevitably devalue their status in the world to the point where there is illegal activity in obtaining tiger body parts from other parts

Cats' mythical ability to foresee earthquakes is explained

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Recently, in Melbourne, Australia, there was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake (Sept 2021). An English Staffordshire terrier dog began barking and running about before the ground began to shake. The dog ran back and forth and up and down the house barking. It was as if he had predicted that an earthquake was about to take place. The experts say that cats usually leave the vicinity when they predict an earthquake. Dogs do vocalise by barking and howling before an earthquake. I guess that this doesn't always happen but dog owners do report it.  Cats' mythical ability to foresee earthquakes is explained However, an Australian veterinarian, Dr. Anne Quain, says that there is no scientific evidence that cats and dogs have a mystical ability to detect when an earthquake is about to happen. She believes that these companion animals react to the foreshock or small earthquakes that preceded the main seismic event and which humans cannot feel. She does not believe that they have an extrasens

'My cat whenever I take my dog for a walk'

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The title is the words of a Reddit user and I found them very sad in the context of the picture they accompany.  'My cat whenever I take my dog for a walk' The photo says one thing: the cat wants to tag along. She may have separation anxiety.

French expression of the Day: 'Comme chien et chat'

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The French expression 'comme chien et chat' might date back to the 16th or 17th century. It means what you think it means: to fight like cat and dog. The strict translation is 'like dog and cat'. The English idiom is to fight like cat and dog whereas the French version is to be (in French 'comme' or like) a cat and dog. The saying is based on the rather old-fashioned belief that cats and dogs always fight; not true in millions of households because the dog is socialised to cats and vice versa.  However, the dog chases the cat because dogs are predators. But the cat might chase a tiny dog as cats are predators too. The English version might be used like this: "They've been married for 40 years but for the past ten, they fought like cat and dog". Or "They love each other but fight like cat and dog." It is often used in the context of a love-hate relationship.

French abandon 60,000 pets each year when they head off on holiday

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NEWS AND COMMENT: The French news media has reported that every year more than 100,000 cats and dogs are abandoned by their owners. Sixty percent of these pet abandonments occur during the summer as the French head off on their annual holiday.  Stray kitten on the side of the road in Central Brittany seeks comfort from a cycling couple. Photo: the couple: CĂ©line  and  Daniel. So, 60,000 cats and dogs are given up at the beginning of their annual holiday so that they can go on their month-long holiday which normally takes place in August. I find that extraordinary. It seems that on that basis they adopt a pet when they come back from holiday and then give "it" up when they go on holiday next year. It's like pets are a stopgap comfort creature to entertain them between holidays. I am no doubt exaggerating but that is the impression I get. As a consequence, the French Agriculture Minister has described the French as the "world champions at abandoning pets". He h

Cat makes a car engine his home in Hamburg

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Hamburg - news and comment:  This kitty was very lucky!  Walkers heard noises and meows under the hood of a van on Thursday afternoon. The de-registered vehicle was parked on the roadside at Billwerder Neuer Deich. The passers-by informed the police. Comment: this was not dangerous because the vehicle was non-functional. But the cat still wanted to make the engine his home. Normally cats like to crawl into engine compartments because they are warm. Not so in this instance. Not sure what the police would have done! Nothing is my guess. Perhaps they checked the cat for a microchip and if he had one, they might have been able to reunite the cat with his caregiver. The cat looks healthy. My guess: a domestic cat that was just outside for a while but he may be a stray. Cat makes car engine his home. Foto: CitynewsTV

Madison, USA, looking at cat declawing ban

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Kitty with her claws. Pic in public domain. This is an embedded audio file. Click on the start button to hear an interview of the alder who has proposed the ordinance to ban declawing. It is titled 'Madison alder introduces proposal to ban cat declawing'. Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin.  Note: this audio-player may stop working one day. I can't control that.  Pittsburgh is also looking at a declaw ban. There are already around 10+ cities where declawing is banned, and one US state: New York. Austin, Texas recently banned it. There are more bans in the pipeline. The House of Cards is falling. In Canada a ban on declawing is widespread across many provinces but not 100%. The point being made is that if the vets don't voluntarily give it up on the basis that it is cruel and against their oath when done for non-therapeutic reasons (99.9% of the time), legislatures across the US will ban the bloody operation.  Come on vets pull your bloody (literally)

Canine teeth of cats are dagger-like

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The canine teeth of cats are designed to kill by piercing soft flesh (jaguar excepted). The canine teeth of the big cats such as the lion, tiger, jaguar, leopard and the cheetah (which is not in the same category as the first four) have some of the sharpest canine teeth in the animal kingdom according to a study published on Phys.org: ' How the canine teeth of carnivorous mammals evolved to make them super-killers '. Cheetah canines. Screenshot from 3D video below The canines are like daggers which for large prey animals are used to bite down deeply into the throat of the prey to suffocate them.  The jaguar has the strongest bite of all the big cats; strong enough to bite into the carapace of a turtle. They do like turtles. It is remarkable that they can pierce the shell of a turtle. And they chomp down on the heads of caiman in the shallow waters. A truly devastating predator. Jaguar’s Taste for Turtles The cheetah is much lighter and quite delicate by comparisons but their te

Friendliest and most aggressive cat breeds

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The friendliest cat breed is said to be the  Oriental and Siamese both long and short haired . This is according to a University of Helsinki study in which they questioned the owners of about 4000 purebred cats living in Finland. They admit that when you assess cat personality through a questionnaire you don't necessarily obtain accurate information because subjectivity can distort the results.  Although they did their best to make the results as accurate as possible: For validation, we studied the internal consistency, test–retest reliability, inter-rater reliability, convergent validity and discriminant validity of this questionnaire and extracted factors. The Burmese ranks highly in friendliness too. They friendliest originate in the Far East - coincidentally? Friendly Oriental Shorthair. Photo: Helmi Flick. I will also add that it is difficult to label an entire cat breed with a clear personality because by and large breeders don't breed for personality but for appearanc

What's wrong with the registration of all animal shelters?

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Is there anything wrong with the idea that all animal shelters of any kind should be registered with the authorities? I note that the state of Colorado has obligatory licensing for animal shelters but how widespread is this across the US? The intention would be to ensure that standards were kept high enough in the interests of the welfare of the animals at the shelter.  Michelline Toulouse. Video screenshot. She ran her own 'rescue' while volunteering at another but was herself a cat hoarder who was later charged. Licensing would have prevented her behavior. Registration would entail inspection which in turn would be taking preventative steps against those cases in which the animal sanctuary owner loses control resulting in neglected animals some of whom end up starving to death or becoming very ill. Surely, it is wiser to take preventative steps rather than reactive ones? On an almost daily basis we read about well-intentioned cat owners looking after more than one cat whic

Evi a small female bobcat who escaped from captivity under strange circumstances

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A bobcat named Evi lived at the Reflection Riding nature preserve located at 400 Garden Road Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. A young man whose name is Cayden Melia was kayaking on Lookout Creek after drinking alcohol (and perhaps during his kayaking). Evi a small female bobcat who escaped from captivity under strange circumstances. Screenshot. When he got to Reflection Riding, he got out and walked to the area where a bobcat and an eagle were kept in cages. I will have to presume that the reason why he broke into the cages with a rock was because of his inebriated state. He then broke into the bobcat's cage. Once he was inside the bobcat's captive area, he decided the play with the bobcat. He was playing with a ball when the animal decided to escape. He tried to get the cat back inside the cage but failed so he returned to his kayak. Evi is domesticated and behaves like a domestic cat to a large extent. He admitted that he knew the area was off-limits. A person had come forward wh

Picture of a calico American Curl with a blaze down the nose

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The cat's name is Shiva. She is a calico cat; tortoiseshell-and-white, with a line down her nose demarking two colours (a blaze). She is also an American Curl. You can see the white on the cat's chest. The term "calico" is an Americanism. Like tortoiseshell cats the colour form is sex-linked and they are nearly always female. Males do sometimes occur but they are extremely rare . In 1989, at least one commentator said that calico cats should have a certain minimum amount of white fur: white feet, legs, underside chest and muzzle. This person thought that "once a cat has more than half of its body total in white, then it is a calico". On that basis this cat can either be a tortoiseshell cat or a calico cat. I think that is over complicating it and perhaps the best thing to do is to describe this cat as a tortoiseshell-and-white! Picture of a calico American Curl with a blaze down the nose. Photo: Pinterest. There are a number of variant forms which had be

CAT ALLERGY #shorts (funny video)

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A cool little video about cat allergies. It's funny; the mix up is very easy to make. When we speak of a 'cat allergy' it can mean two things: a person who is allergic to cats or a cat who is allergic to certain things like food or environmental allergens. So, if you say something like: I am looking for a treatment for a cat allergy it's not really clear what you mean. You have to rephrase it like this: 'I am looking for a treatment for my cat who suffers from allergies to unknown allergens'. Or: 'I am looking for a treatment for my allergy to cats'. It's boring, I know. But the jokey video is based on this weakness in the English language which is ambiguous on the issue of cat allergies! Cat allergies video. Screenshot.

Come on America; Canada is beating you to a nationwide ban on declawing!

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NEWSA AND VIEWS - SASKATCHEWAN, CANADIAN PROVINCE: Some more great news on the long journey to ending the declawing of cats in North America. Canada is miles ahead of America in doing away with this obnoxious operation. Saskatchewan have now banned it. They follow in the footsteps of other jurisdictions in Canada who've banned it: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association's membership recently passed a new bylaw to ban the declawing of cats within the province.  File / Global News Come on America. Please for the love of God get rid of it. You know it is no good, immoral and cruel. The Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association (SVMA) passed the new bylaw on Sept. 12 during its annual general meeting. The law was proposed by members. The majority voted for a ban. The ban is currently active. It states: "No member shall perform elective and non-therapeutic partial

Calls for zoo animals to be Covid vaccinated as 9 big cats at one zoo get the disease

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NEWS AND VIEWS - WASHINGTON ZOO: The time has come to vaccinate zoo animals against Covid both in the interests of their health and welfare and of humans visiting these zoos and the employees. Nine big cats, lions and tigers, contracting the disease is the largest outbreak that I have heard about at a zoo. Covid outbreak at Washington Zoo affecting 9 big cats. Photos: Pixabay. These are not the cats in the story. The zoo administration doesn't know how they got the disease. Their workers all wear masks apparently. In the past zoo animals have caught Covid from zoo workers. Who else? No one is near enough to them to transmit this zoonotic disease . The cats are being treated with anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea meds and antibiotics (possible secondary bacterial infection in the lungs). The patients comprise: Six African lions, one Sumatran tiger, and two Amur tigers. Their symptoms are: decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing and lethargy. It is believed that they are not a risk

Cat hoarder was rescuing cats from cat hoarders in Florida

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NEWS AND VIEWS - FLORIDA, USA: This is a sad story because Michelline Toulouse was an animal rescuer worker volunteer. And now she's been charged with animal cruelty (9 counts) and theft. She had more than 50 cats at her apartment in very poor conditions. Previously she had allegedly stolen $300 from the rescue organisation she worked for: Saving Sage Animal Rescue. She was caught on surveillance cameras. 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. She was sacked for the theft. A colleague visited her home to check on her and discovered the filth and 50+ cats. They were malnourished and 10 were dead. The scene was the usual cat hoarder scenario: mess, urine, faeces and the stench of ammonia. Some of the cats were living in the walls. Michelline Toulouse. Video screenshot. It transpired that Toulouse had been to cat hoarding houses to rescu

Carole Baskin criticises pet store 256 Exotics

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Carole Baskin has weighed in on the story of two African servals on the loose in Alabama. As you probably know, Carole Baskin is the founder and owner of Big Cat Rescue (BCR), in Florida. In a Facebook post, she has asked people to file a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) complaint against a Huntsville-based pet store called 256 Exotics (2421 Winchester Rd NE, Huntsville, AL 35811, United States). The store owner had reported that two servals were missing from a barn on her property. As at 16 September 2021, the servals had not been recaptured. Serval. Image: Pixabay. Baskin wants the USDA to seize the exotic cats at the pet store and send them to legitimate sanctuaries where they are not bred and where they cannot be bought by the public. Associated page:  Serval leaps vertically about 9 feet from a static start (and info about living with servals) She also stated that Alabama regulations state that although dogs and cats need to be vaccinated against rabies there is no approved

23 cats killed in a fire at a Florida pet adoption facility

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A blaze at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando facility killed 23 cats but all the dogs were saved by firefighters. The rescued animals have been taken to the organisation's facility in Sanford. Video footage from firefighters showed them quickly removing dogs from the facility. More than 30 animals were saved. The rescue was hampered when a roof collapsed inside the building which made access to all the shelter animals difficult. This may account for the fact that 23 cats died but no dogs. The dogs and cats were kept in separate places. The dogs were in a place where the fire had not quite reached. The cause of the fire is unknown at the moment. 23 cats killed in a fire at a Florida pet adoption facility. Photo: Facebook.

Woman allowed 6 cats under a rental agreement but keeps 11 and is now in trouble

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WEST BROMWICH, UK-NEWS AND COMMENT: Midland Heart is a company providing affordable rental housing in the Midlands, UK. It seems to me that they have generous rental agreements because they have allowed this mother, Lindsay Simcox, 43, to keep six cats in her home. I don't think many housing associations would allow that, normally. To get permission to have one cat is pretty generous and six is exceptional. Despite those terms and conditions, Simcox kept 11 cats in her home with her autistic children. Lindsay Simcox and cat. Photo: Birmingham Live. When I read these stories, I become very cynical. It is hard for me to adopt a generous spirit because I think this woman is playing the system. I don't think she works and she gets benefits which probably includes housing benefit. She is clearly very obese and has breached the terms of the rental agreement very conclusively. I also think that it is impractical to have 11 cats in a small home. However, despite the large number of

If you help save a street cat God will help you

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If you help save a street cat God will help you. Screenshot. The guy in the video who saves this kitten by releasing his head from the pipe said:  You help them, God will help you (Public Message). The title to the post is a slight modification. It is a good one. But would this guy have done this if he believed God would not help him? Was his act, therefore, selfish? I'll let you ponder that one. In the meantime: great rescue. I'd have taken the little fella home :)  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.