Sunday 31 December 2023

What do I do if I have three cats and one dog all with fleas and I can’t afford flea medication?

Pray! The disturbing question is on the website. It is a question of hopelessness. A question which tells us that the person who asked it does not have enough money to be a good cat caregiver. Sorry but that is the only conclusion. It might not be their fault but you can't be a good cat owner on a shoestring. You have to have some money for the basics. Ensuring that your cats are flea-free is one on the basics. Flea combing can keep fleas under control if there is one cat and the home or flat is flea-free.

Cat fleas and treatments – comprehensive page

Budgeting cat caregiving
Budgeting :) - image: MikeB

But if there are three cats and one dog, all with fleas, there will be fleas throughout the home as well. Flea combing only won't fix the problem.

The only way to get rid of them is to use a flea spot-on treatment for the cats and the dog and clean the entire place top to bottom and maintain a high level of cleanliness. Get rid of the carpets too!

And use flea treatments for cats on cats and flea treatments for dogs on dogs. Don't mix them up or use dog flea treatments on cats to save money as it can kill cats. There are lots of examples.

The question might go back to the beginning - the moment when the person decided to acquire some cats and a dog. They did not ask themselves the question: "Can I afford three cats and one dog?" Or can I afford one cat and one dog? Clearly not. They don't have enough money.

Perhaps they fell on hard times and started off with money. I'll grant them that. It can happen. But the more likely reason is that they adopted too many cats because they fancied another cat and didn't really ask themselves some tough questions and provide honest answers. Three cats and one dog is not hoarding but all cat hoarders end up being out of their depth. They can't cope.

Idea: go to a pet food bank and save money on pet food and use the money saved on buying flea treatments.

Pet food listed banks in a map of the USA and UK

The adoption of cats and dogs starts before the animal is adopted. It is called budgeting. Knowing that you can afford to look after the animal for their entire life barring some unforeseen catastrophe. This is a lifetime commitment. If it can't be made the cat should not be adopted.

I am being tough and perhaps harsh but there are too many cat ownership failures which is why we have millions of feral and stray cats. Ferals and strays are a clear sign of failure in cat domestication. It is estimated that there might be over 200 million feral/stray cats in the world. Each one is a human failure.


There are food banks and pet food banks in the USA. There are food banks for people in many countries. Some - perhaps many - pet owners struggle to care for their pets well. Fleas are the biggest health risk for cats. Why aren't the pet food banks stocking over the counter cat spot-on flea treatments such as Frontline?

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Do you have sinus problems? Take an antihistamine tablet before you go to bed!

This is indirectly about cats: it is about the mental state of the cat caregiver. The better he/she feels the more likely it will be that their caregiving will be of  high standard. Miserable caregivers because of poor health might struggle to be a good companion to their cat.

I suffer from sinusitis. It is not bad but I do have a sinus problem. I use various tricks to deal with it. I'd like to pass them on as they work for me. I am 'paying it forward' as they say although no one told me about these methods. It was a case of trial and error over many years.

The key is prevention. If the sinuses become full of fluid they create a good medium for bacteria to grow. You can develop a bacterial infection in your sinuses particularly after a viral infection due to a cold. I believe I needs to minimise the amount of liquid in one's sinuses. It is about DRYING UP the sinuses.

You can achieve this by taking an antihistamine tablet at night, every night. You wake up with a clear nose and the benefit carries through during the day. Taking the pill at night is useful because if it causes drowsiness it means you sleep better. Taking antihistamine pills in the daytime can sometimes make people a little drowsy which impairs function.

In addition, I use NeilMed which is a solution to flush out your nose. This helps to keep it clear which reduces the possibility of irritants being in your nasal passages which in turn might stimulate the production of sinus fluids. The objective once again is to minimise the amount of liquid inside your sinuses.

I also use a pressure equalizer. This is a device which opens up the eustachian tube from the ear to the mouth. I'm not sure how much this helps but I do it anyway.

Please feel free to ask a question in the comments section.

Note: I am not a doctor. I'm just passing on my personal experiences. Antihistamine tablets are bought over-the-counter and therefore you don't need a prescription for them. The advice I'm giving cannot cause harm but if you have some concerns then please see your doctor. The basic advice I am delivering is based on common sense but it took me a long time to work it out! :)

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Saturday 30 December 2023

First cat to sail in the Sydney Hobart yacht race

In this week's event, Oli became the first cat to sail in the Sydney Hobart yacht race in its 78-year history. He is a 10-year-old moggy, a grey tabby-and-white. 

First cat to sail in the Sydney Hobart yacht race
Image: MikeB. The smaller image is from Getty Images.

He acted as second mate on board Sylph VI. He competed in the two-handed division of the 630-mile race which was won in 1969 by Ted Heath the leader of the Conservative party at the time.

Sadly, the race as such didn't work out that well for Oli because he is still on the sea running a distant last and due to make land next Wednesday. I wonder if his human caregiver, Bob Williams, has enough stocks of cat milk and cat food to ensure that Oli remains contented. I am sure he has.

"One of the great things about the Rolex Sydney Hobart is all the wonderful characters in the race and the diversity of boats," Commodore Arthur Lane said.

Eighteen competitors had finished by yesterday as reported by The Time today, Saturday, December 30.

The newspaper tells us that pigeons have taken part in the race but only as working animals because they were used to get a message to shore.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 29 December 2023

Each of Taylor Swift's cats worth £80 million each? True or false?

The Mirror newspaper tell us that Taylor Swift's cats which comprise one Ragdoll and two Scottish Fold cats are each worth £80 million in terms of their ability to earn revenue. The valuation comes from a website It's pure speculation actually. 

The valuations must be based upon their individual social media accounts and how much revenue they earn. They will certainly be good earners because they are associated with Taylor Swift who is the top social media star on the planet as far as I know.

Each of Taylor Swift's cats worth £80 million each? True or false?
A lot of cats don't like cameras and in Meredith's case it won't help her earnings potential! Image: Instagram (believed).

Taylor Swift is approaching a personal valuation of US$1 billion. It's no surprise that her cats have a good value as well in terms of their ability to earn money but it's simply a spin off from her. Her Ragdoll cat Benjamin Button would just be another Ragdoll cat in another home with no value other than their purchase price but for the fact that Taylor Swift looks after him, lives with him and promotes him on her social media webpages.

The conclusion is that we don't know for sure how much Swift's three cats are worth individually or jointly.

Anybody valuing them would do so subjectively because it's too difficult to quantify objectively. In case you aren't aware, Taylor Swift's three cats are Olivia Benson, Meredith Grey and as mentioned Benjamin button.

My research indicates that it's unlikely that they generate a huge amount of income on their own to justify these valuations. Their value, as mentioned, mainly lies in the fact that they are cat companions to Taylor Swift.

Their earnings probably come from merchandise promotions using their image or appearances in media projects.

Their worth would be based on licensing agreement values, the amount they earn through endorsements and customer demand for products or media promotions featuring the cats.

Taylor Swift's enormous wealth is based on her talent as a musician and songwriter. Not on the presence or value of her cats. Although they probably polish up her image nicely. Did she adopt them for that purpose?

Separately, I don't think it's all a bed of roses for Taylor Swift and her cats. She tends to treat them as babies and I think that is incorrect - best to respect the cat. And she promotes the Scottish Fold which is a breed which should not be promoted because they are inherently unhealthy. In fact, it's a breed which should not exist if you are really concerned about animal welfare.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 28 December 2023

Diary of a female Palestinian in Gaza recording taking a cat to a veterinary clinic

The Guardian newspaper online is publishing extracts of a diary from a 35-year-old Palestinian man living in Gaza by the name of Ziad. The diary provides us with some insights into life in Gaza under this terrible Israeli onslaught. Note: I first believed the diary was written by a woman because I misinterpreted the name's gender! Hence the title to the article.

Diary of a female Palestinian in Gaza recording taking a cat to the vet
A dystopian scene of shattered and destroyed Gaza. Image: UNICEF/UNI453255/EL BABA

We all understand that Israel has a right to retaliate in response to the terrorist attack on October 7 which was horrendously brutal. But to many, Israel have gone too far and they seem to be bent on destroying Gaza. Although I won't get into a political debate on that.

But Ziad is writing his diary within this context; a shattered Gaza were the inhabitants are struggling to survive and remain alive. Within his diary is a little extract of a cat that she rescued and how he deals with her. The cat's name is Manara. The name is Arabic for "Light". I've taken the name to be female.

I hope The Guardian don't mind me republishing a short extract from Ziad's diary:

Saturday 4 November 9.30am: "We finally find a vet where we can take Manara to have the remaining injections. It is 45 minutes’ walk away....I go with Ahmad with Manara in the bag. She does not resist..We finally reach the vet, and he tells us there is no need to give the remaining shot to Manara. He says that her eye is ruined, and all we need to do for the other one is to use eye drops. 

He does not approve of giving her anti-flea medicine because she has scars all over her body...The vet has no food left or cat litter, but he directs us to another shop, which takes another 10 minutes of walking to reach. When we arrive, I feel shocked; there is a lot of destruction around the place. I am scared.

We go into the shop and buy the food and litter. I see a number of birds, fish and one hamster. The owner tells us he has lost many animals because of the bombing....Noon Since Manara has chosen to sleep in an old carton, I go to buy her a box. Finding a box is easy but finding a blanket to put in it is not. There are almost no blankets or covers left."

He goes on to recount that only one shop has the facility where she can withdraw cash with a Visa card but at a very high commission. He goes in search of a blanket for Manara. He walked for an hour visiting every shop on his walk looking for a blanket. One seller offers to provide him with a blanket from his own home. He refuses and thanks him. He eventually finds a bed cover that came with two pillowcases.

RELATED: No cat food in Gaza since the war began on Oct 7. This means cats will become ill through a lack of proper nutrition.

Comment: my comment on the above extract is that it is surprising to me that a veterinarian's clinic remains open but barely. How many are there? Very few I expect which means many companion animals will not be receiving treatment. 

It also tells us that Manara was badly injured and is blind in one eye. She has scars all over her body presumably from injuries suffered in the collapse of a building or a bomb blast. You wonder how Manara feels emotionally. You wonder whether she'll cope emotionally. She must be enormously anxious because of the disruption, noise, irregularity of human movement and activity. 

Domestic cats love calm and regularity, routines and predictability as it reassures them. This cat is suffering the exact opposite while carrying injuries. I don't have much hope for her in the immediate future bearing in mind that Benjamin Netanyahu has committed to bombing and shelling Gaza for months to come. 

And there will be Israeli troops on the ground trying to find and kill Hamas terrorists. That'll mean more destruction of infrastructure and homes and more destruction of children. It is said that around 8000 children have been known to be killed with a possible added 3000 under the rubble.

I don't take sides. But I see a wrong being carried out here which is an over-reaction by Israel. They are using dumb bombs half the time. These are not guided missiles but from simply dropped injected from warplanes. The bombs have not been programmed to hit a certain target.

I wish Manara and Ziad well. I wish them all of God's blessings and all the luck in the world to survive the next months.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

3D device to end the need for drug and chemical safety testing on animals

The truth be told, it could be quite strongly argued that there has been little or no need for animal testing for some time because of effective alternatives but this latest development further hammers the nail in the coffin of animal testing and I hope those organisations who insist on animal testing read it. It truly is time that animal testing is stopped permanently worldwide.

Image of device: University of Edinburgh. Overall image: MikeB.

Putting aside the story about this 3D device, in the modern world, it is impossible to justify animal testing. I don't think humans have the right to be cruel to animals to benefit their health. It's the wrong approach to take. At its core, it is immoral. But, then again, I'm an animal advocate and a lot of people would disagree with me; those who are insensitive to animal rights and their sentience.

That's enough of my complaining. Scientists have developed a 3D-printed device. It replicates how drugs move through the body. It could end the need for animal testing when testing for drug and chemical safety.

Dr Adriana Tavares of the University’s Centre for Cardiovascular Science (CVS), said:
"This device shows really strong potential to reduce the large number of animals that are used worldwide for testing drugs and other compounds, particularly in the early stages, where only two per cent of compounds progress through the discovery pipeline."

The research took place at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. This is one of the world's leading universities and last year the top university in the UK.

It's described by The Times as a "pioneering body-on-chip device". It uses 3D replicas of the human heart, brain, liver, lungs and kidney.

These organs are connected by channels which mimic the human circulatory system. Through this system medicines can be pumped.

As I understand it, the device is made through printed chip compartments and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. This transmits radioactive compounds into the chips to send a signal to an extremely sensitive camera. It sounds very technical.

It is believed that the device will offer scientists a better and more effective way to study how drugs react in the human body and thereby preclude the need to animal test.

The inventor of the device, Liam Carr, told The Guardian newspaper that the PET imagery let medical staff check on the flow of drugs to ensure that it was even.

"This device is the first to be designed specifically for measuring drug distribution, with an even flow paired with organ compartments that are large enough to sample drug uptake for mathematical modelling."


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Burmese cats are 5 times more likely to acquire Type II diabetes than other breeds

Burmese cat is five times more predisposed to feline diabetes mellitus compared to other purebred cats
Burmese cat is five times more predisposed to feline diabetes mellitus compared to other purebred cats. Image: MikeB

The Burmese cat is particularly predisposed to Type II diabetes a.k.a. feline diabetes mellitus in cats. Why is this? A study tells us.
The Burmese breed at a fivefold increased risk of developing the condition compared to other purebred cats.
They concluded that "The pattern of metabolites in Burmese cats is similar to that in people with insulin resistance."

What are metabolites? They are an intermediate product produced during metabolism which are catalysed by enzymes occurring naturally within the cells of the animal. 

Insulin resistance

Insulin resistance means that the cells don't respond to insulin produced by the pancreas. The insulin modifies the amount of blood glucose. Insulin resistance means that the pancreas has to produce more insulin to overcome the cells' resistance. Eventually, the pancreas no longer produces enough insulin to overcome the cells' resistance. This results in higher blood glucose levels and ultimately leads to prediabetes or Type II diabetes.

For the scientifically-minded, the Burmese cat has "higher plasma levels of 2-hydroxybutyrate relative to MCO and Birman cats and increased concentrations of 2-oxoisocaproic acid, and tyrosine, and lower concentrations of dimethylglycine relative to MCO cats."

Birmans low-risk

The acronym MCO refers to the Maine Coon. The Birman cat is a breed that is of low risk to diabetes whereas the Maine Coon cat is of medium risk.

Preventing feline diabetes

Common sense tells me that a cat caregiver might consider doing the following to ensure that the Burmese cat does not develop type II diabetes:
  1. Keep their cat at an ideal weight and particularly avoid obesity because obesity predisposes a cat to Type II diabetes as happens in humans.
  2. Feeding a Burmese cat a low carbohydrate, high-protein, moderate fat diet can help to prevent insulin resistance and diabetes in at risk cats according to veterinarians. This equates to high quality WET cat food. Some vets believe the high carb content of dry foods can predispose overweight cats to diabetes. Dry cat food can be a little addictive because of the taste enhancers sprayed onto it.

The study referred to is: Differences in metabolic profiles between the Burmese, the Maine coon and the Birman cat—Three breeds with varying risk for diabetes mellitus. The link to the study is:


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Are domestic cats genuinely picky about food?

I'm one of those cat caregivers who is unsure whether domestic cats are genuinely picky about their food. I think we can do a little test in our minds. We don't have to do it with our cat. We can just think about this. Let's say a domestic cat hasn't eaten all day for whatever reason. Perhaps for two days. You give them some lousy cat food and they gobble it up because they are starving. If a cat is hungry they will eat the decent food you give them. And leave the bowl empty.

If, by contrast, you give them a nice treat perhaps a little too often, they will be waiting for that treat the next time. If you give them some standard cat food in its place they might not be inclined to eat it but rather wait for the treat that they know is coming in the not too distant future, or so they think.

I have a feeling that many of us - and I am probably equally guilty on this - tend to give our cats too many treats because we love them so much. We want to please them. We might give them really high quality cat food which is expensive from time to time and they wait for that next high quality meal. They might turn up their noses at food which is of a lesser quality.

This is not being picky as such. It is simply being rational and sensible. To be "picky" is to be fussy and difficult to please. To be overly fussy. When a cat turns down food I don't believe they are being difficult to please or fussy. They simply believe that there's something better for them in the kitchen and, in addition, they aren't particularly hungry.

The key is probably to feed your cat a bit less. This would square up nicely with information that we know is true namely that there is pet obesity epidemic in America and the UK and perhaps other Western countries. Around 40% of cats and dogs are assessed as being obese by veterinarians. They are being fed too much. That's the simple cause so feeding less to make them a little hungrier will have two benefits (1) lose some weight (2) be less picky! No, they aren't picky, just sensible.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Crazy animal facts from Ben the Vet

Ben the Vet has some really interesting some might say crazy animal facts to give us in this short video. He had no idea about them before he went to vet school and perhaps unsurprisingly a lot of them are to do with reproduction, procreation, sex!

The first crazy fact that he mentions in the video is to do with the pig's penis which is cork screwed. You might have known that already actually because it's quite a well-known fact. The next fact positively isn't. They produce up to 400 mL of semen every time they ejaculate. Ben then goes on to show us how much that is which is an amazing amount.

In comparison, bulls only produce 5 mL so this is not about the size of the animal. 5 mL is about one teaspoonful. A tiny fraction of the amount produced by boars.

Rabbits and horses and other species can't vomit because the sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach is too tight. This, in effect, creates a one-way valve which stops any gases coming up to allow the animal to belch or vomit. If a horse has colic their stomach can be dangerously filled with gases and fluids which need to be extracted with a tube by a veterinarian.

When guinea pigs are born, unlike humans, they are fully formed, able to run about and eat solid food. I'm feeding a pair of male guinea pigs for my friend who is away in Germany at the moment. They are indeed cute. They are passive and affable. They love lettuce above all else. They don't appear to be that intelligent but I believe that a lot goes on in their brain that we don't know about.

Female ferrets can die if they are not able to mate. When they come into heat they produce oestrogen and if they don't mate the oestrogen is continued to be produced for many months which can lead to bone marrow suppression which can prove to be fatal.

Rabbits have two cervixes. And Ben educates us by saying that animals have different uteruses
P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Wednesday 27 December 2023

American families dump pets as costs surge

NEWS AND COMMENT: Although some shelters have quite definitely gone against the grain in terms of having too many cats and dogs to rehome [check out the empty shelter], in general, The Times reports that US families are dumping pets as the cost to keep them has become untenable. This is mainly due to inflation and lack of proper long-term budgeting, I believe.

The Times reports that American animal shelters are at their most overcrowded in years. The reason? Fears over the economy. And the end of boom times when many dogs and cats were adopted during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

I feel (I hope not harshly) that many people adopted dogs and cats who shouldn't have. This was impulse adoption without really doing due diligence to figure out the costs and even more importantly to check out the health of the animal that they were adopted. 

That last point particularly applies to the French Bulldog which is one breed which is being dumped on shelters faster than many other breeds. Clearly the owners have found out how expensive they can be to take care of.

However, many adoptions were carried out responsibly. Many people relinquishing their companion animals have lived with them for a long time. It's be tough for some to consider relinquishing their pets.

However, according to the Shelter Animals Count, there are an estimated 250,000 more companion animals in shelters this Christmas then there were over the same period last year.

And it appears that many if not most kennel operators say that they are in crisis. Their facilities were already overcrowded before the Christmas festivities.

As mentioned there was a sharp rise in pet ownership during the pandemic. One in five households in America had a companion animal according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

There are fears over the economy in America and the rising cost of living. The cost of owning a pet is out of reach for many. They decided to abandon their animals.

Kim Alboum, of the Bissell Pet Foundation, an animal welfare organisation, said that "The economy right now is really challenging for a lot of families. And with the housing crisis, people are losing their homes and our having to downsize or move in with others. And this is a recipe for disaster for people that have larger dogs."

The Times reports that shelters are experiencing a big influx of puppies in particular including those of the French Bulldog breed as mentioned. There's been a period of inflation recently in America resulting in vets and pet product businesses raising their prices making it even more expensive to be a pet owner.

I'm told that veterinary prices jumped by 9% from November 2022-November 2023 according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Pet food costs rose by 5.6% over the same period.

Sarah Barnett runs an animal shelter in Philadelphia. She says that she has seen hard economic times which has challenged pet owners financially.

She said that people are losing their jobs have to decide between putting food on their table or feeding their companion animal. They've been left with few options.

Obviously, many people giving up their companion animals have had a very long term and good relationships with them. And I agree with Sarah Barnett in that not all people self-indulgently adopted cats and dogs during the pandemic. 


The story really highlights a very valuable point namely that looking after a companion animal properly is expensive. You can't do it properly on a shoestring. Perhaps the first stage in the adoption process is to check your budget, work out the maths, and make sure you maximise the chances that you can and will be able to afford to look after your new friend to a good standard for the remainder of their lives.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

The reason why cats don't migrate

People sometimes ask if cats migrate. They are normally referring to the small and large wild cat species. The truth is that cats do not migrate and the reason is pretty straightforward which is that they don't need to!

And they don't need to because they have the resources that they need to sustain themselves where they live which is in their 'home range'. And that is another reason why they don't migrate; they like to occupy their own territory which we call a 'home range' and which provides a stable environment for them.

They defend this home range against intruders to protect resources. And the female, although having a smaller home range than males, regards their home range as their natal territory, a place where they can give birth and raise their offspring.

In essence, the current arrangement which has evolved over millions of years is that the small and large cat species stay put because they can survive very nicely by doing that.

Twenty percent of bird species migrate but they need to do so for survival reasons. Ungulates i.e. hooved animals sometimes migrate because they're looking for fresh pastures during different seasons. Once again they need to migrate to better survive. That is how they evolved.

The wild cat species have adapted to their specific habitat in which they live and are part of the ecosystems of those habitats. They've evolved to exploit what scientists regard as a niche within the area where they live. It provides them with all the resources they need.

Of the animals that migrate, the majority do so to find food or a suitable place to breed and raise their young. And some species migrate to warmer climates to escape extreme cold which makes food more difficult to find.

Birds are a species which people know migrate not infrequently and they do so to find food and to find a better environment to raise their offspring.

It might be fair to say that sometimes humans migrate, once again to improve their chances of survival - find better work and lifestyle. Currently in the world there is mass migration of people from, for example, Central America and South America to North America to find a better life and from North Africa and Eastern Europe to Northern Europe for the same reason. 

These are often desperate people who are prepared to take dangerous steps in order to find a better life. It is mass migration and is causing great consternation in the governments of European countries and America.

Although when people migrate they don't follow a pattern (e.g. a season) whereas for animals they invariably follow a pattern based on the seasons.

These reasons for migration are not a concern for the cat species of which there are 37 if you include the domestic cat.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Tuesday 26 December 2023

10 cats found dead on a rural road in Staffordshire, UK

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is a very recent report from the BBC. 10 cats have been found dead on a rural road namely Butt Lane in Gnosall, Staffordshire, UK, on Christmas Eve.

The report does not tell us the cause of death. The police are investigating and PCSO Patrick Wright has appealed to the public for any information that they might have concerning the incident to come forward.

Comment: it is highly unusual perhaps almost unique for this kind of event to happen in the UK. In fact, I have not heard about this sort of event happening anywhere else including the USA. Sometimes cats are abandoned by the side of the road in crates or in boxes but to find 10 deceased cats on the side of a country lane is very disturbing and I would say perhaps unique.

If you know something then please tell the police. They are investigating we are told.

The road concerned:


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Hybrid working is great for pet caregiving but not so good for productivity

I'm not sure about other countries but in the UK hybrid working has become somewhat of the norm. Hybrid working means working from home and working from the office. It's a shared working environment as opposed to the default situation in the past of always working from the office.

Flexible hours have pretty well killed off the 9-to-5 working style. It's no longer the way to make a living for the vast majority of office staff in the UK.

Hybrid working allows people to tailor their working hours to fit much better around their nonworking activities. These include cat and dog caregiving.

Improved cat caregiving. Less anxiety.

I can imagine the joy of millions of cats and dogs perhaps particularly cats because they are perceived as being independent and mistakenly believed to accept being alone. I am afraid not.

Now they can have their human companion around far more often. There's been no study on it but I suspect that domestic cat anxiety brought on by separation anxiety has diminished tremendously since Covid-19 and the commencement of hybrid working. 

Also, looking at it from the human perspective, cat caregivers will be more relaxed and less anxious about their companion animals because they can be around far more often. There must be a lot of people who are unhappy about leaving their cats alone all day. That problem is now resolved for office workers.

Survey supports hybrid working

A study of more than 2,000 Britons who used to work in an office five days a week before the pandemic but who now split their working hours between office and home said that they had far more freedom to tailor their schedules and start their workday either later or earlier to suit themselves.

Most (43%) said that they begin their day at 8 AM or before which is earlier than when attending the office. Ten percent chose to logon at work after 9:30 PM. Extraordinary. I have just realised that that is in the evening rather than the morning. They prefer to do nightshift by the look of it.

Although companion dogs and cats are benefited tremendously, I would argue through hybrid working, I think you will find a consensus among managers and business owners that productivity has diminished as a result. 

There are problems with it such as not being able to interact on a direct, person-to-person basis and far more freely with work colleagues in order to exchange ideas. I think this is one way employees are more productive.

In Britain 44% of the workforce now spend at least some of their working week at home according to the Office for National Statistics. The method has become very popular and jobseekers are now demanding hybrid working from their future employers and as employers are having difficulty hiring staff they give way to this demand.

Employee demands

Seventy-one percent of hybrid workers say that they would not take a new role involving a long commute. That's another point about hybrid working; it's avoids commuting costs and time. This puts money in the pockets of employees and can make working more efficient.

But this article is about the benefits to companion animals which for people like me is very welcome. 


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Hybrid working is great for pet caregiving but not so good for productivity
Image: MikeB

The reasons why the majority of cat owners don't stop their cats killing native species

The Daily Mail talks about waging a war on killer cats. The deadly domestic cat. Humans need to wage a war against them to stop them preying on precious wildlife. There is already a news media war against the domestic cat especially in Australia where the citizens of that fine country are gradually being indoctrinated into believing that the domestic cat is the embodiment of the devil; something like the belief of Europeans in the Middle Ages. The era of witchcraft.

The reasons why cat owners don't stop their cats killing wildlife
Cat predation on crested lark curtailed by Walldorf's administrators. Image assessed as being in the public domain. The cat is starting to be seen in the same way as they were in the Middle Ages.

I don't think it is wise to talk about "waging a war" against the domestic cat because it is likely to encourage animal abuse. But certainly, the predation by domestic cats, a so-called invasive species, on native species is highly problematic and is beginning to upset a lot of people.

Natural process

But it doesn't upset, enough, the cat owning public across the planet (except Australia!). I think the truth of the matter is that most cat owners - and this certainly applies in the UK - are aware that their indoor/outdoor domestic cat occasionally kills wildlife but they don't mind enough about it. They see it as nature taking its course.

It seems that cat owners see the domestic cat as just another wild animal which should be allowed to prey on small mammals and marsupials because it's nature in action. What right have people got to prevent domestic cats expressing their natural desires and motivations? I think that is the reasoning behind a lot of people allowing their cat to go outside unsupervised and kill animals.

Pet owners simply don't care enough about small native species being killed by their cat companions. That's the raw truth of it I believe.


Perhaps this is an example of speciesism. This is when people favour one animal species over another. And it is probably normal and natural for a cat owner who adores their loved domestic cat to favour their pet above small rodents, the typical prey animal of the domestic cat. And birds. Birds are favoured above rodents by nearly everybody and cats kill birds and rodents. They don't mind about rodents being killed but the birds are another matter. This is another example of speciesism.

Don't care enough about nature. More concerned about the home

To be brutally frank, I don't think people are sensitive enough to the predation of animals by domestic cats. They just don't see it as a problem in terms of ecology and conservation. Cat owners see domestic cat predation as a problem for them because the cat can bring the animal back into the home and cause a bloody mess. 

Or the mouse runs under some furniture and you can't get it out and the animal starves to death and starts to rot making a smell in the home. Once again the problem with domestic cat predation for most pet owners is not the killing of prey animals but the disruption to the way of life of the human caregiver that predation causes.

Until the wider public have been indoctrinated into believing that it is their duty to protect wildlife and the planet in general, I don't think we going to see a big change in attitude by cat owners in the UK and other countries.

Perhaps another reason why many people are distanced from nature and therefore don't want to really get involved in protecting nature is because they've become emotionally distanced from the natural world. People often live in the urban environment and are not really connected with nature and wildlife. Global warming is an example of how humankind has become distanced from nature and addicted to products and a way of life which harms the planet. Think big diesel SUVs (still sold) and sport hunting (still prevalent).

A lot of people enjoy wildlife and one can't generalise because there are many people who really are sensitive towards wildlife and nature and the natural world. I'm afraid not enough people are genuinely concerned about the predation of native species by the domestic cat which is an invasive species. Although, we have to question the phrase "invasive species".

Invasive species?

How long has the domestic cat got to live in a country to become native to that country? There are no hard and fast rules on that.

We can't pass the buck

Whatever happens next, people need to remember that it is humankind who domesticated the North African wildcat and created 500 million domestic, stray and feral cats on the planet. It is the work of humans. The cat is an innocent victim of human behaviour. Anything we do needs to be humane and decent. The problem is ours. We can't pass the buck onto the domestic cat.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Closure of cat meat restaurant, Vietnam. For an animal advocate this is a great Christmas present.

NEWS AND OPINION. THIS IS AN OP-ED. I VOICE MY OPINION: For an animal advocate like myself and there are many millions of others the news that the Vietnamese restaurant that killed 300 cats a month to make cats soup has closed for good is the best Christmas present they could have. 

This restaurant was a blot on the animal welfare landscape. They drowned 300 cats a month to make cat soup and presumably other cat meat meals. Can you imagine that? Drowning 300 cats a month? Every act an act of gross cruelty multiplied by 300 in a 30 day period which is 10 acts of gross cruelty every day against innocent animals.

And the people who did it had no qualms about it at all. Not an inkling of conscience. Nothing, nada, zero. The brain was dead. Or perhaps I am wrong and they did grow a conscience (see below).


Actually, I think this is about education. I think the owner of this restaurant learned through the Internet and through the Humane Society that stealing people's pets and cruelly killing them and then eating them was immoral, wrong and entirely inhumane. It's about education ultimately. If you want to stop the cat meat trade then you need to educate people.

Pham Quoc Doanh, the restaurant owner tears down the signage on the closure of his cat meat restaurant.
Pham Quoc Doanh, the restaurant owner tears down the signage on the closure of his cat meat restaurant. Image: Daily Mail.

Internet and sites like this and news media educate

This restaurant has been in the news quite a lot recently and I'm delighted that the news media are picking up on cat meat stories from Asia. I know this is a cultural thing and I know that we have to be sensitive about cultural differences and I try to be. We have to be sensitive and I understand that but when a culture fosters animal cruelty I think it becomes a universal issue and I also think under those circumstances we have a right to criticise.
I believe that anybody anywhere should do their best to stop animal cruelty by anybody anywhere.
This was the Gia Bảo restaurant in Thai Nguyen city, in the country's northeast. It was a profitable enterprise. Where did the cats come from? The Daily Mail says that they were "likely including stolen pets". They were drowned in a bucket one after another the newspaper says. Horrendous. Don't dwell on that thought.

The business was run by a 37-year-old man called Pham Quoc Doanh who took to this horrendous business because she was struggling to feed his family selling "other normal food and drinks". He's the man in the picture above.

He discovered that there was no other restaurant in the area where he lived selling cat meat so he decided on that type of business. No issue in his mind about animal cruelty by the way? And I am sensitive to the fact that he was struggling to survive. That is one aspect of the cat meat business. He had to find a way to feed his family and sometimes we have to give up on principles. 

However, putting criticism aside, he appears to have changed his mind because he reached out to the Humane Society International which has been campaigning for some time to stop the cat meat trade in Vietnam. The Humane Society offered him a one-off grant to change businesses to a grocery store. Perhaps he had seen the negative publicity and experienced falling trade?

He took up the offer and the picture you see on this page is him symbolically tearing down the signage outside his restaurant to begin a new business and a new way of life.

He said that he became upset with the cat meat business. These are his words:
"For a while now I have felt a genuine desire to leave the cruel cat meat business and switch to something else as soon as possible. When I think of all the thousands of cats I've slaughtered and served up here over the years, it's upsetting."

He added: 'Cat theft is so common in Vietnam that I know many of the cats sold here were someone's loved family companion, and I feel very sorry about that.'

Well, those words warm my heart in one way - his change of heart but he has committed horrendous crimes for a long time. And my eternal thanks to the Humane Society International which is doing such great work. It must have been a real struggle to encourage this man to do, what I would regard to be, the right thing.

The Daily Mail says that about 1 million cats are killed annually for their meat in Vietnam. I think you'll find that about 10 times that number is killed in China for the same purpose.

Vietnamese no longer believe in the cat meat business

Remarkably, the newspaper tells us that 71% of Vietnamese people living in Vietnam are in favour of a ban of cat meat. So perhaps his business was beginning to lose trade anyway. He found a way out.

We know that many domestic animals i.e. people's pets including stray cats are stolen for the cat meat trade. The same, by the way, applies to dogs in China and other Asian countries.

Education about superstitions

And you might know this but you might not: people who eat cat meat believe that it carries health benefits such as alleviating arthritis or that it has aphrodisiac properties. Sadly, I have to say that no science supports these views. It is all superstition; a superstition which results in mass cruelty against millions of companion animals. It is simply intolerable to any decent-minded person.

Massive amount of theft

The newspaper also tells us that 87% of people in Vietnam have had their pets stolen for the cat meat business or know of somebody who's pet was stolen.

That's another topic: the theft of domestic cats. The cat meat business is not only causing mass animal cruelty but mass criminality. Clearly nobody has been prosecuted for theft even though it happens up to a million times a year. This points to a lack of enforcement of criminal legislation in Vietnam because theft must be a crime in Vietnam. It begs the question as to whether animal cruelty is a crime in Vietnam. I would have thought that it was but once again there is a lack of enforcement.

The cats that were at the restaurant have been rescued. They were traumatised and they have been vaccinated and checked over for health issues and treated by veterinarians after which they will be put up for adoption and rehomed.

The companion animals and engagement programme manager of Humane Society International in Vietnam said:
"We are thrilled to be closing down our first cat meat trade business in Viet Nam, and hope it will be the first of many as more people like Mr. Doanh turn away from this cruel trade."
A big pat on the back to this man or woman. Let's hope that this cat meat business closure becomes a catalyst for similar events across Vietnam and in the wider region.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 25 December 2023

The skin of a cat is not tightly attached to the muscle below

This is about how small cats - the wild cats and the domestic cat - are able to better protect themselves in the event of a fight with another cat over territory thanks to their anatomy.

Small wild cats and the domestic cat are able to protect themselves thanks to their anatomy. Image: MikeB

Small cats try and avoid physical fights to avoid harm which, in turn, ensures that they remain as fit as possible to be the excellent predator that they are. Injuries can blunt their predation and even lead to starvation. 

They avoid other cats by marking territory with scratch marks, urine and faeces. Also they can sometimes scream loudly at their neighbours to tell them not to encroach on their home range.

In short a range of methods are employed to achieve a result without actually fighting.

When there is physical confrontation between small cats over their home range, they will try to avoid fighting by sumo-style standoff signalling using sounds and body language postures. If effective the weaker cat slinks off very slowly. Job done.

The last resort is an actual fight and under these extreme circumstances the small cat has an anatomy which helps to protect them.

Here are some aspects of the small cat anatomy adaptations to inter-species fighting.
  1. The skin of the small cat is not tightly attached to the muscle below.
  2. The cat's body is very loosely enclosed within their skin.
  3. The muscles move and slip within the skin.
  4. Small cats seem to be able to rotate their body with their skin allowing the cat to often squirm free.
  5. The cat's fur protects them.
  6. The cat's fur seems to slide when grasped.
  7. A combatant's teeth and claws might penetrate fur and skin but they a less likely to penetrate muscle.
These aspects of the small cat anatomy helps to thwart the grip of a combatant. The odds are that a couple of small cats fighting over territory will come out of a fight without serious injury. You see ears mangled sometimes for example but that won't hinder survival.

They often return to their home ranges and continue to patrol it diligently as before.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Animal shelter has a true miracle at Christmas: empty cages

Brilliant empty shelter at Christmas at the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg
Brilliant empty shelter at Christmas at the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg. Image: Facebook

What better Christmas gift for shelter staff than achieving the Holy Grail of sheltering: all cats and dogs adopted for Christmas? None left at the shelter. It is empty except for the staff twiddling their thumbs! Well not quite because there was one tabby kitten (believed) remaining for adoption probably because he came in quite recently.

The shelter I am writing about is the Adams County SPCA in Gettysburg and they announced their miracle moment on their Facebook page.

The post says it all. It is the first time in 47 years that they have been empty (bar one kitten who I hope has been adopted by now).

"It's a true miracle. To say that we are beyond excited is an understatement."

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Sunday 24 December 2023

Evergreen companion animal memorial tree in Central Park

There is an evergreen tree in Central Park New York which is a memorial to companion animals that have passed over the rainbow bridge.

New Yorkers who want to remember their beloved companion animals can go to Central Park and find an 18 foot evergreen tree on which will be laminated images and words memorialising beloved companion animals that have passed over the rainbow bridge. And there is a website about the tree:

The tradition has been going on for 40 years and it runs from Thanksgiving to Three Kings Day.

The website tells us the role the tree plays for grieving pet lovers: 'pet lovers in search of a place to heal, a place to honor, bless and celebrate all creatures great and small who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.'

A kind person takes down the memorials every year and cleans them up and fixes them up and places them out the next year. They do it without payment or any reward whatsoever.

Any pet can be memorialised on the street but it seems that most are dogs with some cats.

The current "tree keeper" is Marianne Larsen. She took over the role from Mr Reddock about five years ago after he had difficulty walking.

It was during the Covid pandemic that this memorial tree took off in popularity. Larsen said: "In 2020, we added 200 photos. In '21 it was another 200 and in '22 it was another 200. So now we are over 600 and I think after the day we might be up to at least 750."

People who used to live in New York City and who left a memorial on the tree sometimes find time to return to it when passing through.

I believe the tree is in a place called The Ramble. It is one of Central Park's three woodland landscapes and stretches across 36 acres in the middle of the park between 73rd and 79th streets.

My thanks to the Daily Mail. The video below is embedded from the newspaper. I don't control its existence and it may disappear one day.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Saturday 23 December 2023

Effect of sterilisation on body weight, metabolic rate and glucose tolerance of domestic cats

This short post is based upon a study published online in March 1997. The concern is quite a well discussed topic, that of domestic cats putting on weight after they've been neutered (males) or spayed (females). I am only able to see the study's summary.

Effect of sterilisation on body weight, metabolic rate and glucose tolerance of domestic cats
Image: MikeB using Canva. Feel free to use it but please credit me and link back to this page.

This study found that "the castrated males gained more weight as fat than the sexually intact males". And "the neutered males gained significantly more weight than the entire males".

Further, "There was a significant increase in daily food intake after neutering.".

Neutered males gained weight faster than entire (unsterilised) females.

The scientists also said that "Spayed females underwent a significant decrease in fasting metabolic rate". I take this to mean that the spayed female cats had a slower metabolic rate when they were not eating i.e. fasting. It is not stated in the study but it would seem reasonable to conclude that with a lower metabolic rate there is a greater chance of fat being stored because less energy is being used and therefore the food is being burnt up at a slower rate.

They found that there was no or little effect from sterilisation on glucose tolerance. I take that to mean that there is no impact on domestic cats in terms of a predisposition towards Type II diabetes but that is my personal interpretation and it is not stated in the study.

The term 'gonadectomy' is often used by scientists to mean the removal of female testes and the female's ovaries. In other words, sterilisation of both sexes of cat.

Comment - my views

The advice given by veterinarians is to modify your male and female cats' diet after the neutering and spaying operations. I think the operation will affect different cats differently. My cat did not put on weight and was always relatively skinny and only now when he is in middle age is he putting on a little bit of weight. I delayed his neutering operation as long as possible but was pressured by the veterinarian to have it done as soon as possible. I resisted that pressure.

Extruding penis

There is another study online which says that neutering a pre-puberty male cat can leave the cat unable to extrude his penis which would be a scientific way of saying having an erection! I'm not sure this is true although the study was completed by a PhD student. She said that 100% of male cats neutered before puberty were unable to have an erection. I don't believe that at all. 

I have first-hand evidence because my cat gets boners all the time and he was neutered after puberty but there may be an issue here is to whether you neuter a male cat before or after puberty which is about seven months of age in order to allow the male cat to retain some normal malfunction and appearance. In this instance I'm talking about the facial appearance specifically the jowly, square, larger face of the intact male tomcat.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Study: Effects of neutering on bodyweight, metabolic rate and glucose tolerance of domestic cats. Link to the study:

The reason why domestic cats are obligate carnivores (hyper-carnivores)

This article is going to be short and it is an extension of another article I wrote a few moments ago. It's a nice theory (a suggestion but a good one) proposed by James Sanderson PhD in his book Small Wild Cats (co-author Patrick Watson). In that earlier article I explained why the entire family of cats cannot taste sweetness. 

Cats evolved from a fierce sabre-toothed predator that prowled North America 42 million years ago, according to new research. San Diego Natural History Museum SWNS. Image assessed as being in the public domain. Wrong? Tell me please.

It is due to a genetic mutation which occurred very early on in the evolution of the cat which is why every lineage of which there are eight are affected by this 'defect'. 
In 2005, scientists discovered that all cats lack one of a pair of proteins required to sense sweetness. The missing protein was the result of a deletion, the loss of part of a chromosome or sequence of DNA in a gene. - Sanderson and Watson
This defect was caused after all by a genetic defect or mutation which resulted in the omission of some DNA which in turn resulted in the failure of the cat to have receptors in their tongue to detect sweetness although they retained the skill to detect bitterness which helps to protect them because often toxins are bitter.
Unlike humans and some other animals, cats lack the taste receptors known as "T1R2" and "T1R3," which are responsible for detecting sweetness. - AI computer Poe.
So the reason why domestic cats and all cats of all species are hyper-carnivores is because they can't taste sweetness. It is only plants that can taste sweet because of photosynthesis creating sugars such as sucrose. Cats can't enjoy the sweetness of plants and therefore they don't eat plants whereas cats enjoy the taste of flesh and became obligate carnivores.

That's the argument. It's a very interesting argument and one which states that the entire evolution of the cat species into hyper-carnivores can be put down to a single genetic mutation of chromosomes and genes in the very early evolution of the true cat which has taken about 30 million years or longer. The scientists are still working that out!


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

The genetic reason why cats can't taste sweetness

There is a scientific reason why cats can't take sweetness and is all about genetics. James G Sanderson and Patrick Watson in their book Small Wild Cats say this about that genetic reason:
"In 2005, scientists discovered that all cats lack one of a pair of proteins required to sense sweetness. The missing protein was the result of a deletion, the loss of part of a chromosome or sequence of DNA in a gene."
In other words, going back a long time in the history of the evolution of the cat, there was a genetic mutation and the interesting argument is that because of that mutation, the entire family of cats became carnivores. It was the beginning of their flesh eating lifestyle.

The point is that plants contain sugars because of photosynthesis and if cats 30 million years ago or 10 million years ago had been able to taste sweetness and enjoy it they would have started to eat plants and perhaps become omnivores like foxes but they became strict or hyper-carnivores able only to enjoy the flesh of animals and nothing else practically. Cats do eat a small amount of plant material for health reasons and the snow leopard is the greatest feline plant eater.

Although cats can detect bitterness, the opposite taste. It is believed to be a survival skill because toxins are often taste bitter. That's why you will find domestic cats leaving the bile duct - the only piece of prey anatomy that they leave behind (sometimes) - after catching a mouse. Bile is bitter and the cat believes that that part of the mouse is toxic.

My further research indicates that this lack of sweet receptors can be boiled down to a lack of the taste receptors known as  "T1R2" and "T1R3," which are responsible for detecting sweetness. They are present in the tongues of humans and are activated by sugar molecules. Without them we would be unable to taste sweetness. But with them we've become addicted to the taste of sweetness! And salts! But that's something else.

RELATED: There are actually 14 benefits to cats through the use of their tongue! Click the link to find out what they are.

Briefly, you might know that the tongue of the domestic cat is an amazing organ with two different types of backward facing papillae which the cat uses to groom themselves and tear the flesh from bones of their prey.

The concept of genetic mutations is very very important. It is how evolution works. When a mutation occurs which is a failure in copying the DNA properly during development, it can make the resultant offspring more able less able to survive in the wild. Or there might be neutral consequence.

If as a consequence of the genetic mutation the offspring survive more efficiently than their siblings and other animals of the same species they will have a greater chance to have their own offspring and over millions of years the only offspring being born will be those carrying the genetic mutation and at that time the species we have evolved into a modified version or an entirely new species. That is how evolution works through natural selection as opposed to artificial selection wishes the process of cat breeding.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 21 December 2023

High-definition video of a cat transmitted 19 million miles through space using a laser

In preparation for Mars missions, NASA has transmitted a 15 second, high definition video of a cat chasing a laser pointer 19 million miles through space via laser. The cat in the video it is owned by one of the staffers at NASA.

High-definition video sent 19 million miles through space using a laser
Screenshot from video which is courtesy NASA. Nice video actually.

In fact, the cat, 'Taters' lives with one of the employees of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The video was sent from NASA's Deep Space Optical Communications team's Psyche probe back to earth. The probe set off in October and is on a six year mission to visit an asteroid. The video was transmitted back to Earth on December 11.

“One of the goals is to demonstrate the ability to transmit broadband video across millions of miles,” Bill Klipstein, the tech demo’s project manager at JPL, told CBS. “Nothing on Psyche generates video data, so we usually send packets of randomly generated test data.

It is appropriate to send a cat video. I think you will agree because for a while, cat videos were dominating the world as were pictures of cats specifically funny pictures of cats. It was all pretty crazy and stupid but now they've managed to transmit this video over millions of miles through deep space, they'll be sure that they can do the same thing when the team travels to Mars.

Here is the Twitter X video (remember that it is embedded here. It might not work one day):


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Emaciated, abused tigers in a Thailand breeding farm. Wrong attitude by humankind to save the tiger.

NEWS AND COMMENT: There is a relatively small minority of people on the planet who genuinely want to protect and conserve the tiger in the wild. Certainly they do their best but overall, it's impossible to come to the conclusion that humankind is genuinely concerned about the tiger when a story such as in the press today comes to light which is about a starved female tiger reduced to skin and bone who could barely stand in a disgusting Thai breeding farm.

Emaciated tigers in a Thailand breeding farm. Wrong attitude to save the tiger.
Emaciated tigers in a Thailand breeding farm. Wrong attitude to save the tiger in the wild.

The Daily Mail reports on this tiger whose name is Salamas. She is one of 53 big cats rescued from a Thai breeding farm. You see, if the tiger is seen as a commercial asset and starved to near death through negligence while being abused, it is possible to be optimistic about the chances of protecting the tiger in the wild going forward.

There's just not enough will and determination to achieve the goal of saving the tiger.  It is  shocking to see to be honest. It is depressing to see it and read about it. This poor tiger was found struggling to stand or walk because she had lost so much weight in her cage in this rundown facility in northern Thailand.

The pictures are harrowing. Patches of her fur were missing and she was skeletal. She was exhausted lying on the concrete.

Emaciated tigers in a Thailand breeding farm. Wrong attitude to save the tiger.
Utter abuse of the tiger. 

The farm is facing bankruptcy and prosecution as it was involved with illegal wildlife trading. The tigers and leopards spent their lives in captivity. They are going to spend the last moments of their lives on grassland in sunlight at a woodland sanctuary around 550 miles away in the south of Thailand.

The founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, Edwin Weik, said "'It was feared that she was too weak to walk, but eventually she gathered her strength and stumbled over to the cage.  She was then able to be lifted to the specialist wildlife ambulance that made the twelve hour overnight drive to the wildlife rescue sanctuary. Although alarmingly skinny and with huge patches of fur missing across her body, rescuers are hopeful that Salamas will now begin to recover."

The picture shows an horrendously cramped and barren enclosure which would make any animal advocate weep.

In total, 35 tigers and 18 leopards were rescued from this farm. Twelve old tigers and three ill leopards were the first to be saved. They were sedated and underwent health checks before being loaded into cages and then into wildlife ambulances. They will transported out of the facility in the coming days.

Pictures of the rescue show an immense operation. This was a massive project and it's been described by Edwin as "an incredible rescue. It's the biggest by any NGO in Thailand. The tigers, leopards and other animals will finally see freedom for the first times in their lives. They will experience direct sunlight and the feel of grass on their feet. They will have the freedom every animal deserves.'

He added: "After months of planning the biggest tiger rescue by an NGO in Thailand's history, we are thrilled to now finally give these magnificent animals a new life at WFFT's Tiger Rescue Centre.

'Sadly, they will never be able to return to the wild, but we can offer them the next best thing: a safe, sanctuary home where they can roam forested land, socialise with other tigers, and even swim in the lake.

'We are grateful to the Thai government's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNP) for taking action against the illegal wildlife trade and for collaborating with WFFT to help give these tigers the second chance that they deserve.

'The first twelve tigers and three leopards have been rescued, but there are many more who remain at the farm still waiting to be saved.

'We are desperate to return as soon as possible to rescue them, but as an NGO without government funding we rely solely on donations to make these rescue missions a reality."


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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