Thursday 30 March 2023

Do cats have a natural fear of dogs?

This is a social media question about domestic cats. Note that this is about domestic cats. Clearly a Bengal tiger is not going to be scared of a single medium-sized dog! Point made.

Neighbour's dogs repeatedly escape neighbour's yard and attacks a man's cats. This is neither the cat nor the dog in the story. Pic in public domain as assessed.
Neighbour's dogs repeatedly escape neighbour's yard and attacks a man's cats. This is neither the cat nor the dog in the story. Pic in public domain as assessed.

Domestic cats have a natural fear of predators of domestic cats. They know when they are about to be a victim of a predatory attack by any animal or human larger than them. This is not therefore limited to dogs.

So that ability is innate and natural. But it is not possible to say that all cats have a natural fear of dogs. It is wrong because if a cat has been socialised to domestic dogs at an early age, they will be friendly towards dogs all their lives. We see many examples of cats and dogs being friendly towards each other.

This is about size too as the domestic cat is a top predator. Small predators such as the domestic cat are vulnerable to larger predators. This holds true with respect to the small wild cats such as the caracal being attacked by the large wild cats such as the leopard. See below:

Leopard a large wild cat species and a top predator kills and eats a small feline predator the caracal. Image in public domain. 

A very small dog or puppy would at least be vulnerable to an attack by a large feral cat although an attack would be unlikely.

I think size matters. As dogs are almost invariably larger than domestic cats the attacker and the attacked will be dog and cat respectively.

But it could be the other way around. A tiger would kill a single wild dog with one swipe. There is no natural fear of dogs in a Bengal tiger unless we are referring to a large pack of wild dogs which can kill a tiger.

Conclusion: Do cats have a natural fear of dogs? No, just a natural fear of predators that they perceive as genuinely dangerous and posing a serious threat.

Monday 27 March 2023

Amory, Mississippi after tornado: cat found sitting in middle of destroyed resident's home

This is the tweet accompanying the picture below:
"Mason lost everything in the tornado we go back to dig through the rubble and there was his cat setting on the pile that use to be his house waiting on him" 
Another amazing story of cat survival. Everything destroyed and Mason's cat is sat there in the middle of the destruction. Mason is thrilled and very emotional:

Amory, Mississippi after tornado: cat found sitting in middle of destroyed home resident
Amory, Mississippi after tornado: cat found sitting in middle of destroyed home resident. Image: Twitter.

And this is the weatherman who predicted the tornado would pass through Amory. He too was very emotional and he prayed for the residents which I think is a first for a weatherman on television.

There is a tornado alley in the USA and Amory is in it as far as I can remember. So sad to see so many homes destroyed. 

A lot of homes in the US seem to be built with wood. In the UK it is always brick. That said the kind of tornado hitting Amory would destroy brick homes too I'd expect but perhaps less so. Some of these homes were reduced to a pile of matchsticks.

Let's hope there were no cat and dog casualties. 

Sunday 26 March 2023

Are cat hoarders criminals?

You might be forgiven for believing that all cat hoarders are criminals because cat hoarding is almost invariably cruel to cats - a violation of animal welfare laws. That is the impression one gets. But it is not necessarily the right one. Although it is fair to say that perhaps 90% of genuine cat hoarders will be neglectful of their cats and through this neglect be cruel to them causing great harm and often including death.

Many cats in truck looking at camera. There were 43 cats inside this U-Haul truck.
Many cats in truck looking at camera. There were 43 cats inside this U-Haul truck. Image in the public domain.

The Cat House on the Kings

But some cat hoarders do such a good job in looking after their cats that they can only be praised. Perhaps the most famous person on the planet looking after the largest number of cats is Lynea Lattanzio who is the founder and I guess manager of America's largest cat rescue based in California called The Cat House on the Kings. 

The last time I checked, they had about a thousand cats in their care. I dread to think what their veterinary and food bill is monthly. She is not a cat hoarder in the conventional sense but clearly, she can't say no to a rescue cat. And that is a quality that cat hoarders have.

But all the cats are very carefully cared for and she is the most admirable woman and a champion of cat rescue.

Over the years they have saved over 30,000 cats and even more than 7000 dogs.

Individual circumstances - case by case basis

Whether a cat hoarder is a criminal or not depends upon the individual circumstances and whether they cause harm to their cats due to a failure to provide a proper environment for them and to provide proper care. Are they breaking the relevant animal welfare laws under which they operate? 

UK - RSPCA - Animal Welfare Act 2006

Interestingly, I recently did a bit of work on this. I asked the question, "how bad does it have to get for the RSPCA in the UK to come out and investigate?"

The question was in relation to multi-cat homes. How bad does the home have to be in terms of gross smells and the place becoming uninhabitable before the RSPCA take action? And I mentioned a neighbour of mine who has 10 cats and there are horrible smells coming out of her home. Her home is just about habitable (but not to some) but it is pretty cruel on the cats in my view. They are all full-time indoor cats breathing ammonia daily.

I described the situation to the RSPCA and they told me that it was not breaking the law under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in the UK. That gives you a guideline as to the point at which a cat hoarder becomes a criminal or simply becomes the owner of a multi-cat environment.

Mental health

If they do break the animal welfare laws of the state (in America) in which they operate then the question that has to be asked next is, "what is their mental state?"

Often, it is arguably inappropriate to criminalise a person with mental health problems. And genuine cat hoarders often have mental health problems. 

They often genuinely believe that they are doing some good by rescuing cats and they simply are unable to truly observe what they're doing objectively. 

So rather than punish them the argument is that they should be treated but at the same time they should be banned from looking after animals until assessed as being competent to do so.

Monday 20 March 2023

Cats bring back prey because they know they can play with it without being attacked by predators

A form of feline behaviour which all cat owners are aware of and which the experts have spoken of is bringing prey animals back into their caregiver's home where they either eat the mouse if it's dead or they 'play' with it until it dies and then perhaps eat it.

Cat bringing prey home
Cat bringing prey home. Image in public domain.

Normal explanation

The normal theory for this form of cat behaviour is that domestic cats are bring their prey back to their natal den within their natal range because they have the mental state of a kitten and they are kept in that state by their human care givers who provide for them completely. They are bringing prey back to their mother in the den as she teaches them how to hunt (and see below - role reveral).

That is my preferred theory. 

New theory

A new theory has been proposed by Celia Haddon in conjunction with Dr. Daniel Mills FRCVS in their book Being Your Cat: What's Really Going on in Your Feline's Mind.

They say that domestic cats bring their prey to their owner's home because they want to play with it without being attacked by a predator. I have thought about this and these are my thoughts if you are interested.

Their suggestion indicates that the domestic cat makes a positive rational decision to bring prey back into the security of their owner's home to avoid predators and where they will have time to be cruel (in the eyes of humans) to the prey animal by playing with it.


Cats don't make rational decisions like that. They make instinctive decisions based on indoctrination. And their answer begs the question as to why domestic cats "play" with prey? The classic answer to that is that cats are not deliberately playing with a mouse to be cruel. 

Because they normally have little opportunity to exercise their natural desires to hunt, they want to extend the hunt by not killing the mouse immediately.

Secondly, they want to play safe by battering the mouse and killing it in a safe way rather than placing their mouth up to it and getting a bite which may harm them.

These are the classic responses to that scenario and I prefer them. The one aspect of Celia Haddon and Dr. Daniel Mills' response which is correct is that domestic cats will go back to the security of their home but this is for a general reason of security and to bring the prey animal back to their owner who is their surrogate mother.

Role reversal

Sometimes domestic cats kill the prey animal in a role reversal. In the wild, the mother teaches her offspring how to kill animals in the den. And in the classic domestic cat-to-human relationship, the cat is the kitten and the human is the mother.

But when an adult cat brings prey back home, they become the mother and the human becomes the kitten. The position in which the domestic cat is placed in the human home can be confusing to them. 

For example, it is automatically confusing for them to be constantly provided for as if they are kittens. They never grow up and have the opportunity to adopt the mentality of an adult cat except when they are allowed outside and suddenly within seconds, they become a wildcat until they return home again where they flick the switch and within about 15 minutes become a tame human companion. 

At that point in time, they are adults as they've just left the wild. When cats are outside, they become adult wildcats. Back inside the home and they adopt the characteristics of a tame kitten.

Sunday 19 March 2023

Like me, Nike, finds the shooting of 2 million wild kangaroos every year for leather products unacceptable

NEWS AND OPINION - USA AND AUSTRALIA: Like me, Nike, find the killing of 2 million kangaroos every year objectionable and they are doing something about it. They've announced that at the end of 2023 they will no longer be using kangaroo leather in any of their products. Note: this is a cross-post as it is very important in animal welfare.

Perhaps the best-known product in which they use kangaroo leather (K-leather) is football boots. The uppers are often made of kangaroo leather because it is flexible, durable and more functional. As I understand it, many professional footballers have kangaroo leather football boots.

The problem is the source of the leather. We are looking at about the shooting of 2 million kangaroos by shooters employed by harvesters and professional marksmen sometimes at night for their meat and leather.

I have a deep sense of unease about this. I think a lot of the shooters don't just do it for the meat and leather i.e. the commercial interest, but because they enjoy shooting animals.

There must be a better and more humane way of stabilising the kangaroo population in Australia. The argument that the shooters and commercial enterprises spout is that if they don't shoot them like this in large numbers they will starve to death if there is a drought. 

But they don't want, it seems to me, to comment on the morality and ethics of their enterprise and whether there is a more humane way of stabilising the population.

Nike is following in the footsteps of other top brands such as their German rival Puma and an Italian brand, Diadora. The luxury fashion houses including Gucci, Prada and Chanel have also stopped using kangaroo leather. As has the British label, Paul Smith.

Victoria Beckham has also spurned kangaroo leather and I'm told by The Sunday Times that her husband, David Beckham, stopped using kangaroo leather football boots (Adidas Predators) while he was the England captain.

In America, California has a statewide ban on kangaroo products. Oregon's legislature is debating a statewide ban. Nike has their headquarters in Oregon by the way.

Let's remember that when they harvest (a highly objectionable word in my opinion when it relates to sentient creatures) kangaroos it means shooting wild kangaroos. They are not farmed and driven to slaughterhouses to be killed as humanely as possible but they're simply shot by marksmen as mentioned. This must result in untold suffering.

It's impossible to envisage kangaroos being shot cleanly every time. Many hundreds of thousands of them must've been shot badly and died of their injuries slowly. This is clearly inhumane. It is clearly objectionable and it surprises me that it has continued for so long.

Apparently, Nike's change of mind has been brought about by a very long campaign by the Centre for a Humane Economy which was supported by celebrities such as Ricky Gervais's and Woody Harelson (see video above).

For me, this is great news. There may be a federal ban in the US one day because there is an attempt to push through the Kangaroo Protection Act which if passed would create a nationwide ban in America for kangaroo products.

Saturday 18 March 2023

Presence of cachavirus in Chinese pet cats

A study (lead scientist: Jun Ji) detected the presence of cachavirus in Chinese pet cats, with a low infection rate of approximately 1.17% in diarrheic cats (cats with diarrhea). The virus was found to co-infect with FPV (Feline parvovirus) in one sample, and there was no statistically significant association between the presence of the virus and diarrheic signs.

Tabby and white street cat in China
Tabby and white street cat in China. Image in public domain.

The study suggests that larger investigations and animal inoculation experiments are needed to determine whether cachavirus may be pathogenic (a pathogen such as a bacterium or a virus causing disease). The phylogenetic trees based on NS1 and VP1 indicate that the cachaviruses from dogs and cats belong to the same branch, suggesting a recent common origin. However, the cachavirus strains detected in Chinese cats were quite different from the fechavirus and more closely related to the virus previously found in dogs in the United States. 

The study only obtained a partial genome sequence, and further studies are required to obtain the complete sequence and confirm the difference. Compared with Cachavirus-1A and Cachavirus-1B, the cachavirus from cats demonstrated changes in amino acid sites, and some mutations changed the tertiary structure modeling of the two major viral proteins as predicted. 

Further studies are needed to investigate whether these changes lead to changes in the virus's function and pathogenesis. In conclusion, the study identified a novel parvovirus, cachavirus, in Chinese pet cats, which now appears to infect both dogs and cats. The findings of this study enhance our understanding of the tropism of different members of the Carnivore Chaphamaparvovirus 1 species.

Canine Cachavirus was novel parvovirus species has been firstly identified in dogs in USA.

The study referred to: Genetic Analysis of Cachavirus-Related Parvoviruses Detected in Pet Cats: The First Report From China. Link:


A similar study concerning the same virus in dogs was published 3 days before this one. It is called: Molecular characterization of Cachavirus firstly detected in dogs in China. 

The highlights are:
  • This study firstly reported the presence of Cachavirus in pet dogs in China.
  • A low rate of Cachavirus positivity (1.23%) was found only in dogs with diarrhea symptoms.
  • Most mutations were found in NS1 of Chinese Cachavirus strains compared with the two strains from the United States.
Note: Google does not help me in providing details of this virus. Nonetheless I feel that the study is useful.

Thursday 16 March 2023

Toxoplasma gondii infections in Chinese and ethnic minority races in China mainly caused by eating raw meats

The people who dislike cats say that cat owners and other people get toxoplasma gondii infections from cats through cat faeces as the feces can contain oocysts for a short period. And there's lots of discussion on the Internet about this and whether a pregnant woman should have a domestic cat companion. Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic disease.

But the experts, and I would include myself in that, say that the major way people contract toxoplasma gondii infections is through their handling of and their eating of certain foods. I'm referring to undercooked or uncooked foods and handling raw foods and then using their hands to eat cooked foods. This creates cross contamination.

And in this vein, I've picked up a study on the Internet about Toxoplasma gondii infections in humans in China dated 2011.

The study is interesting because in certain parts of China they have very specific eating habits. Sometimes these eating habits exacerbate the likelihood of contracting toxoplasmosis.

The first human case of toxoplasmosis in China was reported in 1964 and there were many human cases reported in China after an epidemic survey on toxoplasmosis was carried out in Guangxi province in 1978. The difficulty is that it is hard to glean information from Chinese documents because little information is published in English.

Interestingly, and this point needs to be made, based upon the documents surveyed, the prevalence of toxoplasmosis in humans in China is lower than in France for example (50-75% seropositive). A lot lower in fact. Although in the provinces in China the incidences of toxoplasmosis increased from 5.2% in 1988 to 7.9% in 2004.

Guizhou province and Guangxi province had the highest levels of prevalence at 15.1% and 12.7% respectively. The ethic group Miao and the highest incidence of Toxoplasma gondii infections in people at 25.4%.

They state that the eating habits of the ethnic groups surveyed were an important part in being infected. For example, people living in south-west China enjoy eating raw or half-raw meat. Or they eat animal organs as part of their tradition. They might eat sour-meat or pork or beef which is half-raw. The Mongol people like to eat their traditional food using their hands after contact with animals or raw meat (Mongolian Finger Mutton).

The study points to the fact that the greatest risk of being infected with toxoplasma gondii is through eating or handling raw meat. A toxoplasma gondii infection is usually harmless (asymptomatic) but can cause serious illness.

The incidence of Chinese citizens with tuberculosis and hepatitis B of a toxoplasma gondii infection was much higher at 35.3% and 19.2% respectively. Most of the cases were chronic infections. And they state that "70% of individuals infected with T gondii and tuberculosis had the experience of intimate contact with animals."

The study concluded that the oral route of a T. gondii infection is the major route. And pigs in China are often infected. The infection rate in pigs in some parts of China is 53.4% whereas in the USA it is 2.7%. The Chinese like their pork. As I recall, they are the biggest consumers of pork in the world.

The conclusion that one takes from the study is that the greatest risk of being infected with T gondii is through the handling and eating of raw or semi-raw meats due to cultural traditions.

In the West, such as in America, the greatest risk will be through handling raw meat in the kitchen. Veterinarians will tell you that people get the disease from eating raw or undercooked pork, beef, mutton or veal or unpasteurised dairy products which contain toxoplasma organisms.

It is the handling of these products and the consuming of them and the necessary regulations and advice issued by governments concerning these matters that count in terms of reducing infections. 

Educational programs are important to help people change their habit of consuming undercooked meat. Lastly, water that hasn't been boiled in certain districts of China are an issue because oocysts can survive up to 3 years and be transmitted by water through direct drinking.

The study: Zhou, P., Chen, Z., Li, HL. et al. Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans in China. Parasites Vectors 4, 165 (2011).

Monday 13 March 2023

Domestic cat suffers huge, rhythmical body twitch and it's very strange (video)

Screenshot marked up.

Well, this is on the website. The cat's owner asks whether his cat should be doing this. NO, is the answer but no one could say what is happening. I have never seen this before. 

Sensibly, he took his cat to the vet who diagnosed a body twitch but it is enormous and rhythmical in time with a heartbeat it looks like to me. But I am wrong it seems. It is a rhythmical muscle spasm. There you go. But don't be surprised if you find out the cat died.

Should my cat’s body be doing this?
by u/TheStockRavager in catcare
It is likely that the video will be removed from Reddit in which case it will stop working here.

Friday 10 March 2023

Why does the dominant white gene cause deafness in some cats?

The dominant white gene in cats is associated with an increased risk of deafness. This is because the gene affects the development of the cells in the inner ear that are responsible for hearing.

All-white semi-feral cat
All-white semi-feral cat. Image in public domain.

The dominant white gene can cause the cells in the inner ear to fail to develop normally, leading to a condition called congenital sensorineural deafness. This type of deafness is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear, which are responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that are sent to the brain.

RELATED: What percentage of white cats are deaf?

Cats that have one or two copies of the dominant white gene are at an increased risk of developing congenital deafness. This is particularly common in cats with white fur and blue eyes, as the gene that causes blue eyes is closely linked to the dominant white gene.

RELATED: Deafness in cats – causes, diagnosis and management plus dog info. too

It is important to note that not all cats with the dominant white gene will be deaf, and not all deaf cats have the dominant white gene. Deafness can also be caused by other genetic mutations, environmental factors, or as a result of age-related hearing loss.

Thursday 9 March 2023

Why do cats get feline leukemia FeLV?

Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a viral infection that affects cats. The virus responsible for FeLV is called the feline leukemia virus. Cats can become infected with FeLV through close contact with an infected cat, such as grooming, sharing food or water dishes, or through bite wounds.

FeLV cat. Image in public domain.

FeLV attacks the cat's immune system and can lead to various health problems, including anemia, cancers, and other infections. FeLV is most commonly found in cats that spend time outdoors, cats that live in multi-cat households, and kittens born to infected mothers.

Chart by MikeB.

Not all cats that come into contact with FeLV will become infected. The virus is relatively fragile and can be easily destroyed by most household disinfectants. It is important to vaccinate cats against FeLV and to test cats for the virus before introducing them to a household with other cats. Additionally, keeping cats indoors and limiting their exposure to potentially infected cats can reduce the risk of infection.

Why did the saber-toothed tiger become extinct?

The saber-toothed tiger, also known as the Smilodon, went extinct about 10,000 years ago, at the end of the Pleistocene epoch. There is no single definitive answer to why this species went extinct, but researchers have proposed several theories.

Model of a saber-toothed tiger
Model of a saber-toothed tiger. Image: MikeB based on one in the public domain.

One theory suggests that the extinction of the saber-toothed tiger was due to changes in climate and vegetation. The end of the Pleistocene epoch saw a shift towards a warmer, drier climate, which may have reduced the availability of the large prey species that the saber-toothed tiger relied on. As the saber-toothed tiger's prey populations declined, the species may have been unable to adapt and survive.

Another theory is that the saber-toothed tiger's extinction was due to competition with other predators, such as humans and other big cats like lions and tigers. Humans may have hunted the saber-toothed tiger, while other predators may have outcompeted them for prey resources.

Lastly, some researchers believe that disease or genetic factors may have played a role in the extinction of the saber-toothed tiger. However, further research is needed to understand the exact cause or combination of causes that led to the extinction of this iconic predator.

Why are there so many stray cats in Israel?

Feeding stray cats divides Israelis
Feeding stray cats divides Israelis. Image in the public domain.

There are several reasons why there are so many stray cats in Israel.

Firstly, cats have a long history in Israel and the Middle East, and have been present in the region for thousands of years. In many cultures in the region, cats are considered to be good luck and are sometimes even kept as pets in homes or businesses to ward off evil spirits or pests.

Secondly, the warm climate in Israel allows cats to reproduce year-round, leading to a high population growth rate. Additionally, some owners may abandon their cats, which can contribute to the number of strays on the streets.

Thirdly, there is a cultural reluctance to spay or neuter cats, as some people believe it is unnatural or cruel. However, this has led to an overpopulation of cats, which can result in disease and other health problems.

Lastly, many Israelis feed the stray cats out of kindness, which can contribute to their survival on the streets. However, this also perpetuates the problem of overpopulation and can lead to issues with waste and sanitation.

Overall, a combination of cultural, environmental, and social factors has contributed to the large population of stray cats in Israel.

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Why are there so many cats on Cyprus?

Community cats of Cyprus
Community cats of Cyprus. Some of the estimated 1.5m on the island where there are 1.2m humans. Picture in the public domain.

There are several reasons why there are so many cats on Cyprus:

  1. Historical background: Cats have been living on the island of Cyprus for thousands of years, dating back to ancient times. They were brought over by early settlers to help control rodent populations.
  2. Climate: The warm Mediterranean climate of Cyprus provides an ideal environment for cats to thrive. They are able to survive and reproduce year-round without the threat of harsh winters.
  3. Cultural significance: Cats hold a special place in Cypriot culture and are often viewed as good luck symbols. Many locals believe that feeding and caring for cats brings blessings and positive energy into their homes.
  4. Lack of spaying/neutering: Many cats on Cyprus are not spayed or neutered, which leads to an overpopulation of cats. Without proper population control, the cat population can quickly grow out of control.
  5. Tourism: The island's popularity as a tourist destination has also contributed to the cat population. Tourists often feed and interact with stray cats, leading to their continued presence in urban areas.
  6. Overall, the combination of historical factors, climate, cultural significance, lack of spaying/neutering, and tourism has resulted in a high population of cats on Cyprus.
Community cat of Cyprus
Community cat of Cyprus. Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay 

Infographic on 5 categories of hazard in the home for domestic cats

It is my belief that a lot more domestic cats are being quietly and unknowingly harmed inside the family home than we imagine because a lot of cat caregivers are unaware of the full range of hazards that are dangerous to cats. I have a page in fact on a full list of cat poisons which you can see by clicking on the link below:

230 cat poisons (list) - a very long list as you can see.

Probably the most poisonous item in a home are lilies of the Lilium species as one drop or two of pollen from the stamen can kill a cat if it lands on a cat's fur and is subsequently ingested. Although some lilies are safe for cats it is wise to avoid lilies entirely if you have a cat. No risks should be taken as they are potential killers.

There are many pages on PoC concerning items that are toxic to cats. Please click on the link below to see the full list of articles:

Toxic to cats

Hidden chemicals that are potentially toxic are fire retardants and carpet chemicals which are designed to extend carpet life. There are many household cleaners and disinfectants which can poison cats such as products containing phenol.

The list is extensive. 

Sunday 5 March 2023

Infographics on 3 cat companion behaviours that need correction plus training fear out of your cat


I am thankful for Jackson's thoughts on this. He has his own language for describing cat behavior. I am not sure that the Infographic needs to be expanded on but I will add some words. 

Fridging and cocooning?

Two of these behavioural traits: liking to be on top of the fridge or underneath furniture which Jackson exceeded describes as fridging and cocooning respectively, are due to anxiety even fear. They are not that uncommon. 

Domestic cats have to be quite wary in some homes where the environment is not really conducive to a cat expressing their natural behaviours.

So, if a cat caregiver sees this kind of behaviour, they might accurately presume that their cat is anxious. Other signs might be over grooming themselves even to the point where they barber the hair from the inside of their legs were on their belly, both easily accessible places.


Jackson Galaxy, American's favourite cat behaviourist, suggests that in order to allow a domestic cat to gain their confidence and become less timid, the cat caregiver should provide a cocoon for them which is a transformational place. 

This is a hiding place which is more open to the possibility of them interacting with what is going on around them. It is an intermediate location where a cat can feel secure and when it suits them integrate into general household life.

Train to reduce fear in a cat

Here is another infographic on a similar topic.

Infographic by MikeB at PoC.

Thursday 2 March 2023

Republicans in America demand the release of FBI intelligence surrounding the origins of the Covid pandemic

The Covid pandemic story is still running. There is something outstanding and that is an answer to the question: from where did the virus originate? We still don't know because China has been uncooperative. They are being defensive. This is to be expected because one thing is clear: the virus did start in China. It is simply a question of whether it started in a wet market in Wuhan or in a bio laboratory in Wuhan.

Christopher Wray, FBI director
Christopher Wray, FBI Director. Image in public domin.

And I've read a lot about this and some scientists think that the DNA structure of the virus indicates that it has been manipulated in the laboratory. This argument is counteracted by that of The Times' science editors: Tom Whipple and Hugh Tomlinson. They say that the virus has not been manipulated in a laboratory. Or there are no signs that it has.

They also state that it has been established that a cluster of infections of people occurred around the Wuhan wet market. Those are the first signs of the virus infecting people in the world. This of course strongly indicate that it started at the Wuhan wet market. That market has been cleaned up as have 22,000 other wet markets in China or that is the report that we have received.

However, the Republicans in America are asking for the FBI to release their information about the origins of the virus because Christopher Wray, the head of the FBI said that a leak from a laboratory in Wuhan was the probable cause of the pandemic.

Roger Marshall, a senator from Kansas said that he was pleased that the FBI was "finally coming forward with their assessment that Covid-19 leaked from a Wuhan laboratory."

The problem is that there is no consensus about where it started thanks to China's defensiveness. In the West we simply do not have sufficient information or sufficient clarity to assess the origin with accuracy.

Therefore, Christopher Wray's statement doesn't really help. In fact, it muddies the water further.

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman said that there was no consensus within the Biden administration on the origin of the virus. He said:

"The intelligence community and the rest of the government is still looking at this. There's not been a definitive conclusion. What the president wants is facts."

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Mao Ning, said:

"A lab leak is extremely unlikely, and that's the authoritative scientific conclusion reached by a joint team of experts from China and WHO after they had visited related labs in Wuhan."

However, the WHO investigation was hobbled by China's defensiveness. Their investigation was widely criticised for involving people with links to the Wuhan laboratory and its scientists and for the lack of access to materials. Therefore, we cannot take with any seriousness what the spokeswoman said.

There needs to be a further study and there needs to be access provided by China to make any further study meaningful. The outstanding question as to how it started is a question of world importance.

Covid-19 is a zoonotic disease. That's why it caused a pandemic. It jumps from animals to people and back to animals. That means all our pets and everyone on the planet is vulnerable to it and mutations of it.

However, it seems that China is more interested in protecting their interests rather than helping to protect the animals and the peoples of the planet.

All the world's pet dogs weigh 10 times all the world's pet cats

Interested? Perhaps not but I think the statistic in the title is mildly interesting. Perhaps the more interesting statistic is that the weight of all humans on the planet at present is 18 times more than the weight of all land based wild mammals. 

But ants weigh about four times more than wild mammals! Those pesky ants are almost weightless as individuals but there are an awful lot of them.

Infographic my MikeB.

Perhaps the more extraordinary statistic from a study (The global biomass of wild mammals) by Prof Ron Milo and colleagues of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel is that the total biomass in tonnage of humans is almost 18 times more than all the wild mammals on the planet combined. 

To that perhaps remarkable statistic we have to add the 630 million tonnes of livestock kept by humans and other mammals that would not exist without us such as urban rats.

As the Infographic shows you, the biomass of all land-based wild mammals is about 22 million tonnes.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Extraordinary totally white dog with a solid black head (video)

Extraordinary totally white dog with a solid black head (video)

Get this. Very unusual. In cat fancy language the distribution of white and black fur is due to the white spotting gene. It is probably the same for dogs.


Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts