Saturday 20 April 2024

Do Muslims have to feed their cat with halal cat food?

The answer to the question in the title is probably the one you'd image: NO. As a Muslim there are no laws or rules to demand that you must feed your cat with halal pet food. The reason? All religions, including the Islamic faith, are human concepts. Animals don't worship a God. They have no knowledge whatsoever of any religion.

Not obligatory for Muslims. Image: DALLE

Non-halal meat is haram or forbidden. The only reason why is because of Islamic law. Making halal meat does not make it more acceptable in terms of taste etc. from a domestic cat's standpoint! In short halal meat is all about the Islamic faith which in turn is all about humans and a widespread belief by many hundreds of millions that there is a higher power.

You will find some Muslims in the UK running halal pet food businesses (such as Aihtsham Rashid in Leeds) and claiming that it is obligatory for Muslims to feed their cats and dogs with halal meat. I guess they would promote that idea but it is wrong. If you think I am wrong please comment and provide me with chapter and verse as to why. I need to see hard evidence please! πŸ’•πŸ˜Ž

What is halal meat?

Islamic Law (Sharia): Halal is an Arabic term that means “permissible.” Halal food adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Quran. It encompasses various aspects of life, including dietary guidelines. Muslims believe in what they see as the ethical treatment of animals, and halal practices align with this philosophy by promoting kindness, compassion, and humane treatment throughout the entire lifecycle of the animal.

Method of Slaughter: The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry is called dhabiha. It involves killing through a precise cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery, and windpipe. During this process animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter. All blood is drained from the carcass. A Muslim recites a dedication known as tasmiya or shahada during the slaughter.

On this definition, halal meat is about promoting kindness to animals and yet British veterinarians say that conventional abattoir animal slaughter which starts by stunning the animal is more humane that slitting the animal's throat without stunning the animal first. 


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.

Can a resident in Ohio shoot feral cats in their backyard?

A person living in Ohio, USA, asked this question on a legal forum website: Am I able to shoot or kill these feral cats that destroy my garden and poop all over my yard and porch - there are 10?

Can a resident in Ohio shoot feral cats in their backyard?
Man in USA shooting feral cats. Image in the public domain (believed).

The very clear answer is NO. This man cannot shoot feral cats in his backyard. That is the advice of John Ashley Bell, attorney at law in Bexley, Ohio. He is an animal specialist as I understand it. He said the following: 
"YOU MAY NOT SHOOT THESE CATS!!!!!! With all due respect to my colleagues, this would be a criminal act! Under Ohio law, all cats are considered "companion animals," regardless of where they are. It is a CRIME in Ohio to "needlessly kill" any companion animal. See Ohio Revised Code section 959.131(B). Regardless of the concerns you states in your question, killing would be considered "needless" because there are many other possibilities, including the suggestion that you call Capital Area Humane (one of the finest agencies anywhere, by the way). The first cat that you kill can have you charged with a first degree misdemeanor. The next one would be a FELONY. Do not take the law into your own hands. We have plenty of other options."
Another attorney writing on that same forum said the same thing more or less.

The underlying an ever present problem with shooting feral cats in any county, city or state of the USA is that, at a distance, you don't really know if you are shooting a domestic cat or a feral cat. Or a cat in between the two such as a stray cat or a community cat. This means that when shooting a feral cat you could be shooting a domestic cat which would quite positively be a crime anywhere in the USA.

And it would be a crime to should feral cats in most states of the USA because you are committing animal cruelty. If you shoot a domestic cat, you will also be committing criminal damage. There will be a number of possible crimes when killing a domestic cat. 

These factors make it impractical the shoot feral cats and in any case it is highly immoral. It is animal cruelty. Why even ask the question? Lastly, there are many other ways to stop feral cats getting into your backyard. They need to be explored.

RELATED: An article about animal consciousness and sentience: Scientists propose that we should regard animals in general as conscious beings.

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.

Scientists propose that we should regard animals in general as conscious beings

Scientists have suggested that animals in general should be considered as conscious beings (reported in The Times today). The scientists have issued a declaration to that effect. What do they mean? The Times doesn't explain what "conscious being" means. I will presume that one aspect of this description means that the animal has the ability to be self-conscious which means that they have the ability to be aware of the fact that they are a being. The classic test is to look into a mirror and recognise the fact that you are looking at yourself.

Consciousness, according to Jonathan Birch from the London School of Economics, "gives us the ability to locate ourselves in time, to plan for the future, to remember specific events from our past, to make flexible decisions and learn from very sophisticated ways about the world around us."

On the mirror test, Tom Whipple, the science editor of The Times states that, "If you show some fish species a mirror, they will first attack it but then, when that fails, do odd things like swim upside down to see if their reflection follows."

This indicates that these fish species referred to are initially confused by the mirror image and then become aware of it indicating that they are self-conscious. They are conscious beings. It's remarkable if it's true that fish are self-conscious because we kill them in the billions in the cruellest of ways in the oceans annually. People treat fish as objects; inanimate objects actually. It's been found that this can feel pain. Another indication that they are conscious beings.

At the moment there are only a handful of animals that the scientists agree are self-conscious, which would fly in the face of this declaration, if my interpretation of what "conscious beings" means.

In another test, scientists made crayfish anxious. Then they alleviated that anxiety with a tranquilizing drug. They found it worked. So their brain responded to a mind altering drug. This proves that they have a mind.

A lot of scientists and philosophers believe that it is time to create the default position that animals are conscious.

Jonathan Birch from the London School of Economics said: "You've got all these behaviours where in the human case we would very naturally think that this was the sort of behaviour that consciousness enables". He's saying the behaviours of many animals indicate consciousness because they are similar to the behaviours of people.

Jonathan Birch is one of the organisers of "The New York Declaration". Animal sentience is bound up with animal consciousness an animal self-awareness. There's been a lot of research and subsequent information on the Internet about animal sentience. It's a great development because it drives people to an awareness that animals feel pain which in turn promotes animal welfare, the objective of hundreds of millions of animal advocates.

It said that 10 years ago the concept of animal sentience was hardly discussed and not even been founded. Things have changed.

Intelligence and sentience should not be confused as per Jeremy Bentham's argument. All we need to know is that an animal can feel pain and can suffer. If an animal can suffer it is a sentient being.
"The question is not, 'Can they reason? Nor can they talk? [But] can they suffer?
At the moment we believe that it is not possible to know for certain that an animal is conscious or self-aware. Although for mammals and birds it's almost certain that they have a "conscious experience". 

But crows, known for their intelligence, "can adaptively problem-solving, recognise people and even report their own experiences". It is possible, though, to argue that the ability to problem solve does not mean for a certainty that crows are conscious beings.

The above-mentioned declaration has been signed by 38 global experts.

"In the case of octopuses and cuttlefish and things like that, it is primarily behavioural evidence. But it's behavioural evidence pointing to remarkable abilities that no one really thought were there, to do with simulating the future, remembering specific events from the past", said Jonathan Birch.

The declaration, for me, is an indication that humans are moving in the right direction in their relationship with animals; a direction towards better animal welfare and a recognition that animals are sentient and possibly many more are self-aware than previously we thought was the case.

Even bees can be regarded as sentient and conscious beings. A recent test showed they enjoyed playing with a little ball.


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 19 April 2024

Video of cat rescued from Dubai flood after clinging to door handle of submerged car

The cat was clinging on the door handle perhaps for a long time before rescue. Amazing. It is cute that the cat complained when the rescuer got him/her. Fear I guess. To be expected. For all we know the cat might have been feral. In which case his reaction to being grabbed was polite.

Grateful cat saved from Dubai flood while clinging to a car door handle
Cat clings to submerged car after the Dubai rains. The cat was rescued.

Here is the video from which the screenshot above was taken.

The Dubai floods of 2024 are a concerning event, but attributing them solely to global warming would require a more in-depth analysis. While we don’t have real-time data on this specific event, it is possible to provide some thoughts:

Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Global warming, caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to changes in weather patterns and intensifies extreme events. Rising sea levels and changing precipitation patterns can lead to more frequent and severe floods in coastal areas. The weather was so extreme it is hard to disagree that climate change was the cause of partial cause.

Cloud Seeding: In that part of the world they do cloud seeding which artificially brings on rain but the cataclysmic rains were so severe and exceptional that the experts believe that cloud seeding could not be the cause.

Urban Development and Drainage Systems: Dubai’s rapid urbanization and extensive infrastructure development play a role. Urban areas with impermeable surfaces (roads, buildings) can exacerbate flooding by preventing natural water absorption.

Localized Factors

The specific causes of the 2024 floods in Dubai would require detailed analysis. Factors like heavy rainfall, inadequate drainage systems, and land use changes play a role.

Mitigation and Adaptation

Regardless of the cause, addressing flood risks involves better urban planning, improved drainage, and climate resilience measures. Adaptation strategies are crucial to minimize the impact of extreme weather events. Remember that while individual events cannot be directly attributed to global warming, the overall trend of more frequent and severe extreme weather events aligns with climate change predictions. It’s essential to continue monitoring and addressing these challenges globally. 🌍🌊

The above comes from an internet search. Personally I believe that these extreme rains were indeed caused by global warming.

This rescue makes me think of all the other animals, domestic and feral, cat and dog and others, who've not made it through this extreme event. We have no news about this aspect of the flooding. We know that 21 people have died in the floods.


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.

Gut health linked to sexual health in the panda and perhaps us?

An interesting study published online in the journal Ecology and Evolution came to the conclusion that the health of a panda's gut microbiota can affect their libido. It can affect how keen they are to have sex.

Although the scientists haven't discovered a direct causation between the type of bacteria in a panda's gut and how keen they were to have sex, there is an association according to the study. And it is tentatively proposed that a similar finding could be made in respect of humans.

It's known that in general the panda is not a very reliable stud. In general, my understanding is that they are not very keen on sex. Between male pandas, they can either be reliable studs which means 'capable of mating' or disinterested. 

They analysed the animals' gut bacteria and found that the gut bacteria of pandas in the group that were disinterested in sex was different to those who were capable of mating.

One difference was there was a low abundance of the bacterium Clostridium sensustricto. The researchers suggested that it was worth seeing whether dietary supplements alongside a wider range of bamboo might assist disinterested pandas perform to in the bedroom.

And they have further suggested that the same sort of improvements might occur in humans. In fact, a study from 2021 published in Translational Andrology and Urology use an almost identical methodology. The study looked at 60 men aged between 20 and 40 with and without erectile dysfunction.

They found that those that had problems with sex had a less diverse gut bacteria. A further study found that women with low libido had a gut bacteria "signature".

And we already know that the quality of a person's gut bacteria is very important to general well-being in various ways including supporting and enhancing their immune system to affecting hormones positively and behaviour and emotions. The scientists believe that gut bacteria can affect a person's sex drive.

The big caveat is that these studies have not proved causation meaning they have seen a pattern in terms of gut bacteria and libido in pandas but they have not found a direct causation between gut bacteria and low sex drive in pandas.


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 18 April 2024

Are fisher cats the same as fishing cats?

No, fisher cats are not even cats. The fishing cat is a small wild cat species that spends a lot of time near water courses and takes aquatic prey animals as well as non-aquatic prey animals.

Below are some details regarding these entirely different species with similar names 😊😎

Image: MikeB. I have presumed that the images are now in the public domain. Wrong? Tell me in a comment please.

Fisher cat

Here are 10 points about the fisher (Pekania pennanti):

Carnivorous Mammal:

  • The fisher is a carnivorous mammal native to North America.
  • It dwells in forested areas, covering much of the boreal forest in Canada and parts of the northern United States.
Not a Cat:
  • Despite the name “fisher cat,” it is not a cat. It belongs to the mustelid family.
  • The fisher is closely related to the American marten and Pacific marten.

    Monospecific Genus:

    • The fisher is the sole species in the genus Pekania.
    • It is sometimes called a pekan or wejack in various Native American languages.

      Predators and Fur Trade:

      • Fishers have few natural predators besides humans.
      • They were extensively trapped for their fur, leading to their extirpation from parts of the United States in the early 20th century.

        Fur and Appearance:

        • Male and female fishers look similar, but males are up to twice as large.
        • Their fur varies seasonally, denser and glossier in winter, and more mottled during summer molting.

          Hunting Behavior:

          • Fishers prefer hunting in dense forests.
          • They are agile climbers but spend most of their time on the forest floor.

            Scavengers and Encroachment:

            • While fishers usually avoid human contact, encroachment into forest habitats has led to conflicts.
            • They may scavenge dead animals, especially when hungry.

              Historical Decline and Recovery:

              • High pelt prices in the 1920s led to unsuccessful attempts at fisher farming.
              • Conservation efforts have allowed the species to rebound, but their range remains reduced from historical limits.

                Barbed Tongue and Adaptability:

                • Fishers are skilled climbers and excellent swimmers.
                • Their barbed tongue aids in catching prey.

                  Resilient and Adaptable:

                  • The fisher is a resilient and adaptable species, capable of being both a nuisance and a pest controller in various ecosystems.

                  Fishing cat

                  Here are 10 points about the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus):

                  Medium-Sized Wild Cat:

                  • The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat native to South and Southeast Asia.
                  • It dwells in wetland areas, including rivers, streams, oxbow lakes, swamps, and mangroves.

                    Distinct Appearance:

                    • Fishing cats have deep yellowish-grey fur adorned with black lines and spots.
                    • They are about twice the size of domestic cats, with a stocky and muscular build.

                      Size and Weight:

                      • Adults have a head-to-body length ranging from 57 to 78 cm (22 to 31 inches).
                      • Their tails measure 20 to 30 cm (7.9 to 11.8 inches).
                      • Males are larger, weighing 8 to 17 kg (18 to 37 lb), while females average 5 to 9 kg (11 to 20 lb).

                          Vulnerable Status:

                          • Since 2016, the fishing cat is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
                          • Populations have declined severely due to wetland destruction.

                            Nocturnal Behavior:

                            • Fishing cats are primarily nocturnal, active during the night.
                            • They are skilled swimmers and can cover long distances underwater.

                            Diet and Prey:

                            • Their main prey is fish, which they catch by diving into water.
                            • They also consume birds, insects, small rodents, mollusks, reptiles (including snakes), and carrion.

                            State Animal of West Bengal:

                            • In India, the fishing cat holds the honor of being the state animal of West Bengal.

                            Threats and Conservation:

                            • Destruction of wetlands poses a significant threat to fishing cat populations.
                            • Conservation efforts aim to protect their habitats and raise awareness.

                            Civet-Like Appearance:

                            • The scientific name Prionailurus viverrinus reflects its viverrine or civet-like appearance.

                            Unique Adaptations:

                            • Fishing cats are excellent swimmers, allowing them to thrive in their wetland habitats.
                            • Their specialized hunting skills make them fascinating and vital members of their ecosystem.

                            Remember, the fishing cat’s aquatic lifestyle sets it apart from other wild cats! 🐾🎣

                            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 17 April 2024

                            Social media tempts teenagers to skive and the family cat benefits!

                            High rates of school absence because of Internet addiction in teenagers leads to social media tempting teenagers to skive, stay at home, and as a consequence be company for the family cat. πŸ’•πŸ˜Š - if there is one.

                            If a person is prone to stay at home no matter whether they are a teenager at school or a worker at work, they will be with their cat more often and it would be an antidote to what I see is a major problem with domestic cats: separation anxiety as their owner is at work all day and the kids at school.

                            The story is about Internet addiction in teenagers concerns skiving and not going to school but for me this is as much a story about that as it is about keeping the cat at home company. πŸ’•πŸ™„

                            A study decided that teenagers skive as mentioned. It found that teenage girls seem to be more vulnerable to this than boys and more vulnerable to excessive use of the Internet. The more often a teenager uses the Internet the more likely it is that they are addicted to it.

                            The research took place in Finland. They took data from a national biennial survey. They asked children how much they neglected friends and family and failed to eat or sleep because of their time online. They asked how anxious they were when they weren't online.

                            Just over 2% of the more than 86,000 children in the school years eight and nine (aged 14 to 16) in Finland who participated were found to use the Internet excessively. Girls were 96% more likely than boys to fall into this category.

                            3 to 4% of the children reported high rates of absence from school. Those who spent excessive amounts of time on social media had a 38% higher risk of truancy. They also had a 24% higher risk of medical school absences.

                            The researchers decided that digital media may be tempting teens to stay at home and avoid school which affected their learning. The research is published in the British Medical Journal's Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

                            As you can see the study was based on self reporting from teenagers. They may have overestimated or underestimated the amount of time they spent on social media online.

                            Excessive Internet use is not the same as addiction. There is no agreed clinical definition of Internet addiction. It was suggested by another scientist that the research does not help understand the effects of Internet use in children.

                            But as mentioned above, I would suggest that there is one benefit if there is a family cat. They have some company and social media Internet addiction can remove the problem of separation anxiety for domestic cats.
                            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.

                            Cats are taking over Hollywood. Great.

                            It seems to me that Hollywood producers have finally and conclusively switched on to the fact that having a cat in their film enhances its appeal. They have been in films before as we know but it appears that they are more often in Hollywood films nowadays than in the past. 

                            Film star ginger tabby cat at the Oscars πŸ’•πŸ˜Š. This is a fictional individual!

                            Here are some examples and a possible reason why cats are taking over Hollywood at the moment. My personal reason is that the Internet has changed people's perceptions about the domestic cat a lot.

                            Domestic cats are featured in billions of videos and still images. There's a lot of discussion about the cat breeds and cat behaviour. People are far more aware and in tune with feline behaviour and feline attributes. The same goes for dogs but perhaps in a slightly lesser way.

                            Cats are currently having a big Hollywood meow-ment, with top creatives increasingly casting them in dramatic roles for live-action projects. Let's explore why cats are stepping into the spotlight:

                            Maine Coon in "Ripley": In Steven Zaillian’s acclaimed Netflix limited series "Ripley", a Maine Coon named Lucio plays a significant role and has been dubbed “a main character.” Lucio's majestic presence adds depth to the show.

                            Lupita Nyong'o and Her Tuxedo Cat in "A Quiet Place: Day One": In Paramount’s upcoming film "A Quiet Place: Day One", Lupita Nyong'o portrays a woman trying to escape an alien invasion alongside her tuxedo cat, Frodo. The feline companion adds tension and emotional connection to the story.

                            Ginger Cat in "The Marvels": Last fall, Disney’s "The Marvels" featured a deadly super-powered ginger cat named Goose. This unusual casting choice highlights the growing trend of giving cats more substantial roles in live-action films.

                            Scottish Fold in "Argylle": In Matthew Vaughn’s spy comedy "Argylle", Bryce Dallas Howard's character is on the run from assassins, accompanied by her Scottish Fold cat, Alfie. Despite initial reservations about using a cat, Alfie became a central character in the movie's marketing campaign.
                            Why Cats, and Why Now?

                            Why? While there’s no single reason, several factors contribute to this trend: Zeitgeist: Cats are currently in the cultural zeitgeist, capturing attention across various media platforms. Taylor Swift's cat, Benjamin Button, even graced the cover of Time magazine as “Person of the Year” .

                            Internet Love: The internet's fascination with cats, from memes to viral videos, has elevated their status and made them endearing to audiences worldwide.

                            In summary, cats are no longer just props; they're taking center stage in Hollywood, proving that even notoriously independent and unpredictable animals can shine in the spotlight. 🐱🎬.


                            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 16 April 2024

                            Academically gifted postgraduate university student with a history of abusing cats is REJECTED

                            NEWS AND OPINION: This is a another story from China and as it happens another story about a Chinese university student. I've just written about a Chinese university student who was expelled because of his alleged abuse of his pet cat in an horrific manner. In this instance, the student who is named Xu is reported to have a history of abusing cats and as a consequence he was rejected by two top Chinese universities. China Daily reports on this and is the source of this blog post.

                            Academically gifted postgraduate university student with a history of abusing cats was rejected
                            Academically gifted postgraduate Chinese student. This is a fictional creation. Not a real person.

                            It is alleged that he was abusing cats in his dormitory at Southeast University in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. Like other cat abusers he posted videos of his miscreant behaviour online. This took place in February. In one clip he is shown putting a cat in a bucket of water and treading on the cat's head.

                            The videos were evidence against him. He was investigated and interviewed with his parents. He admitted wrongdoing and promised not to repeat it.

                            He is an engineering graduate. He was applying for a masters program at Nanjing University School of Physics late in 2023.

                            He had the highest total score among the applicants for the course but was nonetheless rejected because it his alleged cat abuse. It indicates that the University is taking a moral stance.

                            There appears to be no definitive statement from the University confirming that he was rejected because of his cat abuse but it is reported that "his abuse of cats may have affected their decision."

                            Chinese citizens commenting on the University's Sina Weibo blog urged the University to be cautious about enrolling Xu. The comment indicated that morality plays a role in selecting candidates. One commenter said: "Morality prevails over intelligence and academic performance".

                            The former editor-in-chief of Global Times wanted Xu to be given a chance. He said that posting the video of animal abuse was clearly a serious mistake but indicated he thought he had potential psychological problems. Notwithstanding that, he suggested that "society should provide the student with an opportunity for correction, allowing this young person to have prospects and hope."

                            Hu wanted the student to progress in life and be given the opportunity to do so. Comment: the big question here is whether Xu has the capacity to correct his behaviour because as Hu stated it appears that Xu has mental health problems. And therefore he needs treatment and he needs to be certified as being mentally well enough to participate in such a course before being allowed to do so.

                            Comment: The Chinese government needs to make that all important step of introducing general animal welfare laws to protect all animals. Laws can change opinions and attitudes as they gradually embue the citizens with a different attitude towards animal sentience and welfare. Animal welfare laws can indirectly set moral standards as is the case with the UK's Animal Welfare Act 2006


                            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.

                            Student expelled from Chinese university for badly abusing his pet cat

                            Guo Xiang kept a pet cat in the dormitory and allegedly abused the cat many times. The Facebook post says it all actually although the story is reported on the website of Global Times.

                            This image is from Facebook. I have cannot verify that this is the man involved.

                            The executive council of the university issued a document expelling Guo after following the relevant provisions of the Jiangxi Normal University Student Disciplinary Management Measures.
                            "According to the decision of the office meeting of the school, Guo, who kept a pet cat in the dormitory and engaged in multiple acts of animal abuse, which led to a major negative public opinion on the internet, causing a particularly bad impact on the school. At the same time, Guo also engaged in spreading obscene videos, skipping 12 classes, and other violations of school rules and regulations. According to the relevant provisions of the disciplinary measures, Guo has been expelled from the school."
                            From Jiangxi Normal University Academy of Fine Arts (Yaohu Campus):
                            "Completion opinion: Hello, citizen! Your message has been received. In view of the fact that student Guo Xiang kept a pet cat in the dormitory and abused the cat many times, and the cat abuse caused major negative public opinion on the Internet, which caused a particularly bad impact on the school, the school office decided to agree to expel student Guo Xiang according to the relevant provisions of the "Jiangxi Normal University Student Disciplinary Punishment Management Measures". If you have any objections, please call the Jiangxi Normal University Student Affairs Office: 0791-88120145 for consultation. Thank you for your support and understanding of Jiangxi's government service work."
                            Comment: I was surprised to read that Guo kept a pet cat in his dorm. He seems to have kept the cat as a recipient of abuse. Quite horrendous. The complaint from commenters is that he was not prosecuted for animal cruelty but that is completely unsurprising for me as there are no general animal welfare laws in China to protect pets under the circumstances described.

                            There was no chance of his being prosecuted for the crime of animal cruelty as the crime appears not to exist in China 🀒😒.

                            The Global Times reports:

                            On March 29, a netizen posted a video claiming that a male student at the campus had been abusing cats in the dormitory over an extended period. In the video, the male student punched and kicked the cat, and ruthlessly beat it with a hanger, causing the cat to cry out in pain when it was knocked against the door.

                            Guo was reported by a fellow student on March 29th, 2024. The university was very concerned (reported) and investigated. The concern was about the university's reputation which suffered harm. I hope they were also concerned about the cat.

                            There is no report on the state of health of the cat and/or what happened to him/her which is indicative of the anthropocentric nature of the reporting (human-centric nature of reporting meaning it all turns on human behaviour).

                            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 15 April 2024

                            Reason why a non-pedigree cat is called a moggie in an infographic

                            The reason why is a non-pedigree cat is called a moggie in an infographic
                            Infographic by MikeB.

                            The source is the book Catlore by Dr Desmond Morris. Here is some information about him as he deserves it. The information was compiled by an AI computer searching the internet.

                            Desmond John Morris, born on January 24, 1928, is an English zoologist, ethologist, and surrealist painter. His multifaceted career spans various domains, making him a fascinating figure. Let’s delve into the details:

                            Early Life and Education:

                            • Morris was born in Purton, Wiltshire, to Marjorie (nΓ©e Hunt) and children’s fiction author Harry Morris.
                            • His interest in natural history and writing blossomed during his time in Swindon.
                            • He attended Dauntsey’s School, a boarding school in Wiltshire.
                            • After serving in the British Army for national service, he pursued fine arts and zoology at the University of Birmingham.
                            • In 1951, he embarked on a doctorate at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, focusing on animal behavior.

                                    Career Highlights:

                                    • Curator of Mammals at London Zoo: He held this position after leaving his role as the host of Granada TV’s Zoo Time.
                                    • Research Fellow at the University of Oxford: His research centered on the reproductive behavior of birds.
                                    • Television Presenter: He scripted and hosted over 500 episodes of Zoo Time and 100 episodes of Life in the Animal World for BBC2.
                                    • Surrealist Artist: Morris’s artistic endeavors included directing surrealist films and exhibiting paintings and drawings created by common chimpanzees.
                                    • Author: His most renowned work is the 1967 book The Naked Ape, which delves into human sociobiology.
                                    • Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer: In 1964, he delivered the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture on Animal Behavior.

                                    Notable Works:

                                    • The Naked Ape: This ground-breaking book explores human behaviour from an evolutionary perspective.
                                    • Zoo Time: His television programs, including Zoo Time, brought zoology to a wider audience.
                                    • Surrealist Art: Morris’s artistic expression extended beyond science, and he exhibited alongside luminaries like Joan MirΓ³.
                                    • Human Zoo: Another thought-provoking work that examines human behavior in a societal context.
                                    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.

                                    Mariska Magdolna Hargitay names her traditional Siamese cat 'Karma' after Taylor Swift song

                                    Mariska Magdolna Hargitay is an American actress and producer. The daughter of bodybuilder and actor Mickey Hargitay and actress Jayne Mansfield, her accolades include two Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and two People's Choice Awards. That's from Wikipedia. πŸ˜‰πŸ™„

                                    I had to look her up as I had not heard of her before I read the story of her naming her traditional Siamese cat 'Karma' after Taylor Swift's song of the same name on her album 'Midnights'.

                                    The lyrics from the Midnights track “Karma” go: "Sweet like honey, karma is a cat purring in my lap ’cause it loves me."

                                    Swift picked up on the news a little 2 days later. 😊 She said commented: "Are you serious?!!!! Nothing has ever come more full circle. LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!” πŸ’•πŸ’•Lots of love from Taylor.

                                    Traditional Siamese named Karma after on of Taylor Swift's songs. The picture is from the Instagram account of Mariska Magdolna Hargitay. Thanks.

                                    I have particularly specified that Karma is a traditional looking Siamese cat as opposed to the rat-face modern creation which has been overbred to become far too skinny in my opinion. Obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

                                    Some people call the traditional Siamese the 'old-style Siamese' but there is some confusion about naming the various types. The Thai cat is also a Siamese (traditional) but Thai cat breeders say their cat is not a Siamese!! 

                                    The cat fancy believes that the super-slender Siamese is a 'refinement' on the original and genuine appearance. The original Siamese cats from Thailand (formerly Siam) are much more like the cat you see on this page. I am please that Mariska adopted a traditional Siamese.

                                    If the various types of Siamese cat interests you, click on the link below:


                                    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.

                                    Mongoose behaviour might help us understand war. I have my thoughts.

                                    I will start with my thoughts on why humans start wars. It is a current topic for all the wrong reasons. Many people believe that the world is drifting towards World War 3. The Ukraine war is almost forgotten because of what is happening in Israel and now with the attack by Iran on Israel which was thwarted.

                                    The reason why humans get involved in wars

                                    This is a very difficult topic. I believe there are three fundamental reasons. They are:
                                    • It is inherent in humans to fight
                                    • Humans are still tribal; a genetic inheritance from the beginnings of the human race when they lived in tribes. Humans still live in tribes in parts of the world.
                                    • The tribal protection of resources in whatever shape or form they come.
                                    • War needs to happen from time to time as it's almost like an addiction which you suppress and then eventually it bubbles to the surface. There is happening right now, 2024.


                                    The title in The Times newspaper is: War, what is it good for? Why mongooses may yield a clue.

                                    Mongooses go to war in a chaotic way says Tom Whipple The Times science editor. They are hard to study for this reason. Mongoose wars start when a female runs from the "tribe" in which they live to an opposing tribe looking for a male mate. She does this because mongooses live in very closed societies. The groups are very close-knit. This means that females don't get a chance to meet up with a male outside of the group in order to ensure that her offspring have genetic diversity.

                                    In running to an opposing "tribe" or group she kicks off a war because the males follow her into enemy territory. They find the rival group and there's a massive conflagration. "Everyone's screaming their heads off".

                                    It seems to me that in reference to mongoose behaviour, they start 'war' over access to resources which happens to be females for procreation (and the survival of the family/group). That's how I see it. It is another version of protecting resources. A lot of human wars are about that.

                                    But of course the problem with mongooses starts with the close-knit groups and a lack of opportunity for a female to procreate effectively. The root cause of the problem is that but perhaps this is also part of animal nature.

                                    Humans form close-knit groups as well and they protect their resources. People find comfort in their group. There is a saying that if you meet a group or person you don't know you might fear them and when you fear another there is tendency is to be defensive towards them which can lead to aggressivity towards them which can lead to wars. That I think is a kind of pattern at play here.


                                    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 14 April 2024

                                    Domestic cats benefit children's development. Here's how.

                                    The words are not mine but those of a AI computer which has searched the internet and come up with some reasons why domestic cats benefit children's development. I am happy to use AI as the bot searches the internet more thoroughly than me. It is a very politically correct text. I'd be more down to earth and less polite but perhaps readers like super-polite, politically correct articles.

                                    Domestic cats benefit children's development. Here's how.
                                    This excellent picture was also created by AI. Superb isn't it?!

                                    Cats can have a remarkable impact on children’s development. Let’s explore some of the ways in which our feline friends contribute to young minds:

                                    1. Promoting Responsibility: Convincing a cat to participate in human schemes, like wearing a hat, involves negotiation skills not even diplomats possess. Children learn responsibility by caring for their feline companions, feeding them, and ensuring they receive playtime and exercise.

                                    2. Emotional Intelligence: Cats don’t hide their feelings, especially when displeased. Observing their moods and understanding their cues helps children develop emotional intelligence. The soothing purrs and calming presence of a cat can also alleviate stress and anxiety.

                                    3. Stress Reduction: Ever tried to stay stressed while a cat purrs on your lap? It’s nearly impossible! The gentle vibrations of a cat’s purr can be incredibly soothing and comforting for children, reducing stress levels.

                                    4. Empathy and Social Skills: Caring for a pet teaches children empathy and compassion. They learn to recognize and respond to their feline companions’ needs, fostering emotional bonds and understanding that someone else’s perspective might be different from their own.

                                    5. Physical Health: Growing up with pets may help build a child’s immune system. Studies suggest that kids who share their lives with animals are less likely to develop allergies or asthma as they grow older.

                                    So, whether it’s cuddling with a purring cat or learning to scoop out the litter box, these experiences shape children’s development in meaningful ways. Cats provide companionship, emotional support, and valuable life lessons for kids of all ages. 🐾🌟

                                    What about dogs? Do they have similar benefits?

                                    Certainly! Dogs also offer a wealth of benefits for children’s development. Let’s explore how our canine companions positively impact young minds:
                                    1. Companionship and Unconditional Love: Dogs are loyal friends who provide unwavering companionship. Their unconditional love and acceptance can boost a child’s self-esteem and emotional well-being.

                                    2. Physical Activity: Dogs encourage physical activity. Whether it’s playing fetch, going for walks, or simply running around the yard, kids stay active and healthy while bonding with their furry pals.

                                    3. Responsibility and Routine: Caring for a dog involves feeding, grooming, and regular exercise. Children learn responsibility, time management, and the importance of consistency.

                                    4. Social Skills: Walking a dog often leads to interactions with other dog owners and neighbors. Kids learn social skills, empathy, and how to communicate effectively.

                                    5. Reducing Stress and Anxiety: Petting a dog can lower stress hormones and elevate mood. The rhythmic motion of stroking a dog’s fur has a calming effect.

                                    6. Learning Empathy: Understanding a dog’s needs and emotions fosters empathy. Children learn to recognize non-verbal cues and respond appropriately.

                                    7. Safety and Security: Dogs provide a sense of security. Their protective instincts can make children feel safer at home.

                                    In summary, both cats and dogs contribute significantly to a child’s development. Whether it’s a playful kitten or a loyal dog, these furry companions enrich kids’ lives in countless ways. 🐾❤️


                                    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 13 April 2024

                                    New anti-ageing drug for dogs works on hormone IGF-1

                                    An enterprising woman who dropped out of Oxford University started a bold and interesting company called Loyal in San Francisco five years ago with the intention of creating drugs which extend the lifespan of dogs and perhaps then leading to achieving the same result for cats and even humans which would be the Holy Grail of medicine.

                                    New anti-ageing drug for dogs works on hormone IGF-1
                                    New anti-ageing drug for dogs works on hormone IGF-1. Image: MikeB

                                    She has successfully tweaked the attention of investors and raised US$120 million to grow her business and take it forward. Her name is Celine Halioua.

                                    The science behind her project concerns a hormone called IGF-1; a hormone which drives cell growth and big dogs grow quickly because that high levels of it. The levels remain high into adulthood. In general big dogs have shorter lifespans.

                                    Her theory is that the hormone also fuels accelerated ageing of large dogs after they achieve maturity. It is my understanding that her drug will curb the activity of this hormone and thereby extend life by up to 10% of the dog's life which for a dog with a lifespan of 10 years would be one year.

                                    The cost of the owner would be around US$50 a month. This would equate to around six thousand dollars over the dog's life to extend it by 10%. There is a question mark over whether people would want to spend that kind of money bearing in mind the cost of living crisis today.

                                    The US Food And Drug Administration have reasonable expectations that Loyal's therapy for large dogs will be effective and therefore she hopes to bring it to the market in 2026.

                                    It is called LOY-001 at the moment.

                                    It is the first attempt to do this. She has built on the work of Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, as I understand it, who showed that it is possible to double the life of nematode worms by altering only one gene in the 1990s.

                                    And late last year I wrote about another scientist with the same objective but using different techniques which you can read about by clicking on the link below if you wish.


                                    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.

                                    China will use their cheap EVs to spy on and control other countries. Discuss.

                                    If Edward Lucas, a British writer, journalist, security specialist and politician, is correct in that China is going to flood the UK with cheap EVs with the intention of spying and controlling the country it will affect all of us and therefore indirectly our companion animals making the topic relevant for this website! I want to briefly discuss this topic.

                                    Lucas says that Chinese-made EVs which will be a fraction of the cost of the expensive models now available will flood the UK and US markets and are a 'recipe for mayhem'.

                                    The Chinese EV is cheap thanks largely to government support and access to cheaper batteries and labour.

                                    The Daily Mail newspaper reports that Lucas has said that "Chinese EVs in the West would act as 'mobile surveillance devices' that could be unilaterally switched off by the CCP at its whim, sparking chaos, death and destruction."

                                    How can this be? He is saying that the Chinese can pull the wool over the eyes of the world's computer science experts and covertly spy on us with these cars and shut them down at a whim.

                                    Surely this is impossible? All it takes is for a bunch of British and American computer scientists to thoroughly examine one of the cars destined to be exported to the UK and check if it has the capability to be controlled by the manufacturer and ultimately by the Chinese state if there is a close connection between the two.

                                    The United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, France and the United Kingdom are the top countries for computer science courses. They have the best brains in computer science they would be able to strip down a Chinese EV and find out whether it is capable of spying on people and whether it can in any way damage the lives of citizens of these countries.

                                    Edward Lucas believes that the UK is asleep at the wheel on this matter. He added that "The result of China's ravenous appetite for our data will be that every commercial, political, military and intelligence secret in every Western country is potentially compromised. So too is every facet of our personal privacy, making us vulnerable to blackmail and bullying."

                                    Is it possible for China to spy on the citizens of countries in which Chinese EVs have been imported through technology built into the EVs?

                                    The answer: The Biden administration has raised concerns about the potential national security risks posed by Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) and other internet-connected vehicles on American roads. These EVs are becoming increasingly computerized, akin to “smartphones on wheels.” They collect sensitive data on drivers, including personal information, biometric data, and travel patterns. The worry is that a foreign adversary like China, with access to such information at scale, could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and citizens’ privacy.

                                    While Chinese EVs have not flooded the U.S. market extensively yet, the situation is evolving. Chinese automaker BYD recently surpassed Tesla as the world’s largest EV company by sales. Some analysts predict that the United States and other Western nations could soon see an influx of Chinese electric cars. However, it’s essential to note that not all Chinese EVs are necessarily involved in espionage. Market competition and innovation drive the adoption of similar sensors and technology across various high-tech cars, regardless of their country of origin.

                                    In summary, while the alarm over Chinese EVs is justified to some extent, it’s essential to balance security concerns with fair competition and technological progress. President Biden has emphasized the need to address any intelligence or economic risks proactively to safeguard national interests.

                                    Sources: Various including The Week,,


                                    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.

                                    A super case of interspecies farmyard friendships (video)

                                    Interspecies relationships are wonderful. It shows how the world can live in harmony even when the species are a predator and a prey animal as is the case in this video. The classic interspecies relationship is the human and dog or cat. We tend to forget that it is an interspecies relationship which has changed the world. There is an argument that cat domestication has been a failure overall as there are too many feral and stray cats. They should all be in nice homes. Cat domestication should not have turned out as it has.
                                    This is a very cute video of interspecies friendships. It is so good you wonder if it has been set up. It almost certainly has I think. It is just too good and strange.

                                    If you like interspecies relationships you might like to click on this LINK to see a bunch of articles on the topic. There are some extraordinary friendships.

                                    All of them originate in early years development - that precious first several weeks of life - when an animal can be socialised to almost any other animal and totally override their natural instincts. It is all about socialisation and learning that the other animal is not dangerous. That's how cat domestication and dog domestication works.


                                    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 12 April 2024

                                    Forcing landlords to accept people with pets. Good and bad consequences.

                                    There are good and bad consequences to laws which force landlords to accept people with pets - normally cats and dogs. I've always supported laws forcing landlords to allow pet owners to rent but I'm not sure I was right. I have been a landlord. If I'm honest I'm not sure I would allow a pet owner to rent from me. It all depends on the person. But it appears there are too many cat and dog owners who are irresponsible. There are too many tenants who just don't respect the landlord's property.

                                    People tend to misbehave when they don't own the property in which they live.  A new California bill seeks to bar landlords from banning pets in their rental units.

                                    And if a landlord can rent to a person who isn't a pet owner without too much difficulty because there are a lot of tenants looking for homes then why should they allow someone with a cat or dog?

                                    You could argue that there is a social necessity to allow cat and dog owners to rent properties from landlords in San Francisco simply because there are people out there with cats and dogs who need a home and the jurisdiction, the local authority, should ensure that pet owners have somewhere to live. I think that is a fair argument. It's about being fair towards pet owners and indeed their pets.

                                    The bill would prohibit “no pet” clauses in rental housing, prevent landlords from asking about pets until they have approved the rental application, and prevent them from imposing pet rental fees. The Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved the bill, which now heads to the floor for a vote by the entire Assembly. If passed, it will be taken up in the Senate.
                                    I was interested to note that on social media and I'm referring in this instance to, most people think a law forcing landlords to allow pets as an overreach. They think it's going to far. This information comes from the San Francisco section of

                                    Here are some points that they make in my words:

                                    The general mood on the website is that a law forcing landlords to allow pet owners is the wrong thing to do. They think it's going too far.

                                    Users on that platform say that there are good examples of very poor tenants owning cats and dogs who have allowed their companion animals to pee and crap all over the apartment. And they've been there a long time.

                                    The urine and faeces get into the fabric of the apartment. Some of them have some terrible stories of the need to strip out the apartment and even pull the floorboards up to ensure that the smell disappears.

                                    The general tenor of the response to this new legislation in California, which by the way is said to be a AB 1226 (not sure that is correct), is that it puts too much pressure on the landlord. It may force landlords to get out of the market and if so there would be less properties available that happen rather than more.

                                    And if landlords are already subject to a limit on the value of the deposit they can demand, to add this new law would mean that they couldn't increase the deposit to protect their property if it is damaged by pee and dog crap and by scratches from dogs and cats. If that is the case - and I don't know the laws of San Francisco - it would be very unfair and it simply would not be workable to operate the rental market like that.

                                    Laws governing landlords and tenants is all about balancing the needs of business against the rights of individuals. It is about the right wing in political terms versus the left wing. It's about big commerce against little individual. It's about controlling the powerful and helping the needy.

                                    This kind of stuff requires a lot of balance and compromise. It requires a very careful and nuanced balancing act between these competing forces. As far as I can see the people on think that this legislation has gone too far in favour of the tenant and it will be too detrimental to landlords.


                                    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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