Monday 29 December 2014

Was the BBC Top Gear Patagonia Programme Fixed?

You know that the news stated that the Top Gear Team were attacked in their cars in the extreme south of Argentina by an angry mob who where protesting about the presence of the Top Gear team (31 of them plus the three presenters: Clarkson, May and Hammond) because Clarkson's Porche 928 V8 had a number plate that hinted at the Falklands war lost by Argentina.

To the Argentinians the number plate was provocative. I have watched the two part program and I sense the whole thing was set up by Clarkson and the BBC because they needed something special and entirely different to keep the program vibrant and maintain audience figures.

What I mean is the offensive number plate and even the protest was arranged before the filming started. That is my allegation.

Why? Because of the way the presenters acted. They finished on a Sundance Kid style ending and in the middle of part one they visited the house where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid stayed (when escaping the law). It all tied in nicely and conveniently with the attack by the protestors. What I mean is the middle of the program tied in with the end indicating planning.

James May defends the number plate stating that it was was pure chance.

The number is: H982 FKL. The date: 1982. FKL = Falklands. The BBC say it was pure chance and deny any set up.

Friday 26 December 2014

When the love of someone else's cat overcomes money considerations

This is a cat story to warm the cockles of your heart. It comes from Victoria, Canada and it concerns a veterinary assistant whose name is Nadine McCully. She is aged 26. One of the veterinary hospital's clients was a Mr Sutton and his one-year-old cat is Leo. Leo had urinary ttact problems and after a week's treatment with catheters the clinic was unable to resolve the problem and accordingly Mr Sutton decided he had to say goodbye to Leo because he couldn't afford the surgery required which was to enlarge the urethra. The cost of the operation was $3000.

It appears that Nadine had become attached to Leo in her work and she had also apparently noticed the attachment between Mr Sutton and his cat Leo. It was those two emotional factors which compelled her to pay for the operation out of our own savings which I guess must've been a sizeable chunk.

Nobody at the clinic had ever heard of this happening before. Mr Sutton was staggered by this young woman's generosity. He described the whole process of mentally adjusting the saying goodbye to his cat as drowning and then suddenly the water recedes on hearing that Miss McCully had decided to fund the operation.

This is a comment by a co-worker:
First of all, I just want to say that I work with Nadine and she is one of the most caring people I've ever met. We all fell in love with Leo and his owners, and were so happy that Nadine was not only willing, but (barely) able to provide them with a much needed miracle.
It is an awful lot of money to give to a cat charity when you don't have an awful lot of money yourself. In fact, it reminds me of the generosity of Marc, a regular contributor to the main website, PoC, who on one occasion gave $1000 to help a cat caretaker he had never met and never seen. It was an Internet donation given blind and given on trust which had a total wow factor about it.

Sometimes money isn't that important. Its importance diminishes under certain circumstances. Most people spend all their lives saving money and making sure that they have enough. Then when you get older and you don't care about anything much anymore, money no longer has the same value. But for this young lady her money had a real value and she must have been protecting it, saving it for something important perhaps but she gave it all away to save the life of a cat who belong to another person.

Source of story

Saturday 20 December 2014

What Causes Struvite Crystals in Cats?

What Causes Struvite Crystals in Cats?

If you click on the link above you can read a full article on this topic but in summary the most likely cause of struvite crystals in urine is stress in combination with dehydration which may be caused by a diet of exclusively dry cat food. Add in a bacterial infection and other reasons why a cat is not drinking enough (i.e. poor water quality) and the likelihood is increased. Another compounding factor is not urinating enough perhaps due to an unsatisfactory litter box. The cure is to keep flushing out the urinary tract and a pleasant environment.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Confusion over What the Pope Said or Didn’t Say about Animals Going to Heaven | PoC

Confusion over What the Pope Said or Didn’t Say about Animals Going to Heaven | PoC

This subject has been chewed over endlessly now by a plethora of Internet news websites and the vast majority of them initially, it appears, made a mistake in stating that Pope Francis made an off-the-cuff remark that animals go to heaven.

To be honest, if you believe in heaven then animals have an equal right to go to heaven as humans.  In fact, you could say animals have a greater right in humans because they are all innocent whereas humans are far from innocent. So this discussion is rather pointless unless you are a devout Catholic and a conservative Catholic.

In any case, the initial stories about Pope Francis appear to be incorrect and the whole thing has been fabricated by the news media not intentionally but in the same way that a message handed from one person to another becomes distorted, gradually.

The beginning of this sorry saga starts with an Italian newspaper which appears to have taken the saying of an earlier Pope who did in fact say that animals go to heaven which was then attributed to the current Pope.

In addition because the current Pope is a very natural person who likes to behave like an ordinary person to make a remark that animals are allowed to go to heaven was believable.  Pope Francis's character encouraged the newspapers to create this story.  It is believable that he would agree that animals can happen.  Perhaps he does believe this but he has not stated it as far as I am aware.

In fact, he has said something which indicates otherwise. He has said that people spend too much money and time on their pets and not enough time on the welfare of vulnerable children or something like that. I can almost agree with that.

In any case, if you click on the link above, at the top of the page I go into the subject into more detail

Friday 12 December 2014

Domestic cats that look like tigers

There is one particular cat breed which is wholly designed, and which has been bred, to look like a tiger and that breed is the Toyger. This is an amalgamation of the word "toy" and "tiger". Below is a picture of the Toyger. As far as I'm aware, there are no known cat breeds other than the Toyger which are specifically designed to look like the tiger. I expect many people have heard of this breed. It remains relatively rare.

Photo copyright Helmi Flick.
I suppose you have to ask the philosophical question as to whether it is foolhardy to try and replicate the tiger in miniaturised form through selective breeding of the domestic cat. From my perspective it is a ridiculous idea but there are many people who would disagree with me. It seems that the policy behind the project is the same the lofty ideal behind the wild cat hybrids: to bring the wild into the living room. The big defect with the Toyger is that they'll walk like tigers because that is dictated by size. And the tiger gait is very much part of the cat.

It is still work in progress many years after beginning. The breeders are even trying to recreate the way the tiger walks. It is far better to adopt a rescue cat and in any case within all domestic cats whether they look like a tiger or not there is a tiger because the behaviour of the domestic cat is a whisker away from that of the wild cat.

Plastic in the Oceans Affects Us All Including Cats

The Mediterranean Sea is the worst of them all in terms of the amount of plastic floating around in it. There are 900,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre in the Mediterranean Sea. Most oceans had up to hundred thousand pieces per square kilometre. Overall, there are 5.2 trillion pieces of plastic in the seas and oceans of the world which weighs a quarter of 1 million tonnes.

These are estimates but they are based on what I consider to be a fairly sound basis. There were 24 expeditions to all oceans and two forms of counting plastic. Plastics were collected in fine nets. The larger pieces of plastic were counted at sea. The observations were conducted at more than 1,500 locations over a six-year period. The results are published in the online journal, Plos One.

What is disturbing is that a lot of the plastic in the seas and oceans is going missing and the conclusion that the scientists have tentatively come to is that the fish and sea birds are eating it. For example, the study stated that 288 million tonnes of plastic was produced in 2012 whereas the estimated weight of the plastic in the oceans was only 0.1% of that total.

A Japanese study conducted in 2012 found that the compounds in plastic had entered the tissue of seabirds. There is a lot of plastic in the sea and it appears to be entering the food chain. If that is the case then both humans and cats may very well be affected by this.

After the Mediterranean Sea the most polluted oceans are in this order: North Pacific (700,000 pieces per square kilometre), North Atlantic (680,000), South Atlantic (481,000), South Pacific (396,000), and the Indian Ocean which had an estimated hundred 161,000 pieces of plastic unit per square kilometre.

The final worrying bit of information in this article is that it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down!

Source: Plus One via The Times

Cat hair loss health tip

I think you will find that the most common reason why cats lose hair is because of over grooming. The question that follows is, "why is the cat over grooming?".

Perhaps the most common reason why cats over groom is because of stress. Stress can be caused by a number of situations and events and it would be impossible to list them all here but perhaps the most typical would be stress caused by other cats in a multi-cat household. Another cause of stress would be the owner being away too much causing separation anxiety. It is up to the owner to figure out what is causing the stress. This will take a certain amount of observation of the behaviour of the cat or cats in their home and should become quite apparent very quickly what is going on.

After stress, the obvious reason why cats over groom is because their skin feels itchy. This leads to another secondary question namely why does the skin feel itchy? The most common reason for this is probably the flea bite allergy. Secondary to that would be irritation caused by other external parasites. After that I would suggest that either airborne or ingested allergens are the cause of the cat's skin feeling itchy.

In conclusion, therefore, if a cat is losing hair in a symmetrical way in easy accessible places then it is due to over grooming due to stress. If there are areas that are missing hair and the skin can be seen to have inflamed areas in it then this could quite likely be the flea bite allergy.

The cat flea is probably the most common cause of cat health problems and it is very important that cat owners ensure that the cat is free of fleas which obviously means for a high level of vigilance especially if the cat goes outside a lot.

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