Friday 11 November 2011

African Wild Cat Picture

This is a really nice African wildcat picture. The author is an amateur photographer who publishes his work on Flickr, a large photo hosting site owned by Yahoo. He has kindly allowed me to publish it on my site. His Flickr name is: antony_j_jones. Thank you.

There are two aspects of this photograph that I particularly like. Firstly it brings it home to me that the African wild cat is very like our random bred domestic cats. This of course is to be expected because it is the wild cat ancestor of the domestic cat (with the Eurasian wildcat). Is this cat a hybrid? Just a thought as the Africa wildcat does mate with domestic cats. This cat seems a little refined to be a purebred wildcat but I might be wrong.

Secondly, it shows the cat in his/her habitat, which is wide ranging but tends to be open scrub and grassland.

African wild cat - Photo copyright antony_j_jones

The photograph was taken in Namibia, the home of the cheetah.

Radio Presenter Jokes About Cat Cruelty

This morning, Steve Allen, a celebrity radio presenter on LBC 97.3, a London based chat and call type radio show, joked about cat cruelty. He was referring to what was meant to be a jokey way of washing a cat (6 am on 11th Nov. 2011).

He said you wash your cat by putting it in the toilet covered in shampoo, close the toilet seat, sit on the seat and flush. The process cleans the cat and the toilet. Afterward, you open the seat and the cat races outside terrified and dries off naturally.

Really funny Stevie. You are encouraging people to do that because a lot of people like your show. Personally I don't like your show; partly because you are always saying people are stupid.

I think you are being stupid yourself in indirectly promoting what can only be a form of cat cruelty. I can see one of you fans trying it out. A person who did this would be committing a crime under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is very similar to the case of the bank worker who casually dumped a cat into a wheelie bin in full sight of a security camera.

It is pretty clear to me that Steve Allen dislikes cats as he almost condoned a much publicized act of cat cruelty yesterday (youth swings cat by tail). Perhaps Steve is just trying to jazz up his boring show. If that is the case he is being stupid because he is on the edge of committing a crime himself.

In this video he is the person on the left.

Rare Wild Cats

A list of rare wild cats. The Iberian lynx and Iriomote cat are probably the rarest wild cats. How do you judge what is a rare wild cat when you don't know the population sizes of the wildcats? Rarity is assessed on how few there are in the world. However, with respect to all wild cats we don't know precisely how many there are.

We know that some wild cat species are more numerous than others. There are more bobcats that tigers for instance. Also, when the population becomes very low scientists do more research as the species nears extinction in the wild. This provides more data on numbers. It is shame we can't take better proactive steps to protect wildcats.

These are the rare wild cats on my assessment - numbers are cats in the wild. The links have been selected. There are many more. Please start here.
  • Bay cat - very secretive and lives in the virgin forests of Borneo that are being logged at a rapid rate. Don't have numbers.
  • Siberian tiger - 400 approx. left in the wild. Inbreeding problems. Population is stable.
  • Asiatic lion - lives in the GIR Forest in Northwest India. 359 left. Inbreeding problems?
  • Scottish wild cat - 400 approx. left in wild and we are not sure how many of these are purebred.
  • South China tiger - I say this cat is extinct but others will disagree. Whatever - it is extremely rare or extinct.
  • Sumatran tiger - 100-400 left.
  • Iriomote cat - subspecies of leopard cat - extremely rare - about 100 left. Lives on the Japanese island of Iriomote.
  • Andean cat - estimated 2,000 left. Persecuted by locals and loss of habitat and prey.
  • Iberian lynx - almost extinct. Population 84-123 (2009). Lives in Southern Portugal and Spain. Hunted to near extinction and loss of prey.
That is my list compiled out my of my head more or less. The white tiger is not a subspecies of tiger and is only in captivity (highly inbred).

Thursday 10 November 2011

Cat Cruelty UK Nov 2011

Cat cruelty caught on camera. This was on the TV about 30 minutes ago (November 10th 2011). It is the story of a young man who wantonly and without a care in the world grabs a black cat by his tail, and while walking down the road swings the cat around vigorously. He was stopped eventually. The cat, Mowgli, was understandably traumatized and is reluctant to go out. His female human companion wants the youth caught. We all do. This cruel behavior could have easily resulted in a spinal injury to Mowgli or much worse. Fortunately it seems that the injury is only psychological.

Mindless Cat Cruelty UK Style 2011 from Michael Broad on Vimeo.

I think it is symptomatic of the disaffected, badly raised youth of the UK today. There are many like him. There are many who have little prospect of employment or living a constructive life. It's a life on benefits for many of these youths.  It needs to be said that there are also many good young people.

On conviction of animal cruelty the maximum penalty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is a £20,000 fine and/or not more than 51 weeks in prison. The police are looking for the man.

Update 12th Nov. 2011: The person who committed this act, 20-year-old Riain Richards, has handed himself into the police. We shall see what happens.

Finally, I want to make a comment about Steve Allen of the radio station LBC 97.3. This morning he dismissed this act of animal cruelty as something that was not that bad. Steve Allen, you have completely lost me as a listener. In my opinion, you are very wrong to make that comment.

How sensitive are cats to heat?

The answer lies in the type of heat: ambient or directional. Cats like to lie in front of a fire. It feels too hot for us but our cat finds it acceptable. This is because the cat's coat protects the cat from the heat directed at her/him. Clive Dalton on Knol, a Google website subdomain, says that cats are not very sensitive to heat and then refers to the cat lying besides the fire at over 50ºC.  A fair point.

He is correct, but cats do not tolerate high ambient temperatures as well as people. Cats don't sweat that much. They sweat on their paws. Cats lose heat by panting and licking fur to use the latent heat of evaporation of their saliva to cool themselves.

Cats can overheat - heatstroke - which leads to rapid breathing, very red mucous membranes, and vomiting.  The cat's body temperature rises to over 106º F (41º C). If left untreated heat stroke can lead to coma and death.

Therefore, cats are more sensitive to high temperatures than us. That, I think, makes them sensitive to heat.

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