Thursday 25 May 2023

Stunning-looking calico cat but is she real?

 Here she is but is she real? We'll never know. The problem is that there are some very talented photo-editors around nowadays. Although I sense that in this instance the cat is real except that the eyes have been 'doctored' to look more interesting than they really are. I mean the colours are stunning. You just don't get odd-eyes that colour normally. 

As you no doubt know, we do see odd-eye colour in domestic cats with one of the eyes being gold or yellow and the other blue (no melanin pigmentation) but I have a feeling that the colour of these eyes have been enhanced through photo shopping. I don't know. I am forced to guess which is a weakness with current photography.

Almost all the great photographs you see nowadays are photoshopped either subtly or quite extensively. Photography is more like painting nowadays than recording what is in front of the lens. There's nothing inherently wrong with it unless you want to know what the reality is.

Stunning-looking cat but is she real?
Stunning-looking cat but is she real? She is a calico and therefore female.

We also see quite a lot of cats on the Internet with "split-face" colouration. In this instance it would be due to the white-spotting gene or another name for this gene is the piebald gene. This causes a lack of pigmentation in certain areas of the fur and sometimes it's effect produces a sharp line down the middle of the face.

We can tell that this is a calico cat because there is white fur (fur without pigmentation), red or ginger fur and black fur (tricolour). The calico cat is a tortoiseshell-and-white cat. The phrase "calico cat" comes from America. Some people don't like it! They prefer the original description.

And as you also no doubt know, nearly all calico cats are female because that is the way the genetics work. The genes are sex-linked. And in the rare cases that there are male calico cats they are feminised males, somewhere between male and female without being hermaphrodites. They are sterile and they don't show any real interest in meeting with females (asexual).

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Arrogant abusive big cat owner in Europe eaten by his lions. Karma.

This is another example of nature's way; to introduce some karma into the equation. In this instance a private zoo owner in Oškerda, Slovakia, who had a reputation for breaking the rules and whose license had expired in 2019 had the habit of personally feeding his lions every day. He kept them in poor conditions and therefore he abused them.

He'd had done this since the lions were cubs. His name was Jozef B. Why don't we know his name? He was labelled "Europe's Joe Exotic" after the American private zoo owner now in jail serving a very long sentence for conspiring to murder Carole Baskin.

Arrogant abuse big cat owner in Europe eaten by his lions. Karma.
Arrogant abuse big cat owner in Europe eaten by his lions. Karma. Image: NewsFlash.

I guess he felt entirely safe despite a 29-year-old woman being injured when petting a lion at his zoo. One visitor said:
"We used to come here regularly. I saw with my own eyes how he went to the cage and fed the lions. I always asked him if he was afraid, and he just said that he had been feeding them since they were babies."
One day he did not return from feeding the big cats and his family alerted the police. They discovered some human remains. Perhaps they were starving and ate part of him. The police shot two of the lions. Shame that the lions always get it when they kill humans.

A local, who only went by Peter, said:
"He was very arrogant, he didn't know how to behave, he abused the animals and they had very bad conditions."
The local authority are now considering putting down the tigers and lions at the zoo as the conditions are poor. Not good. Why not find new zoos for them. So much more humane, surely? This is a very poor and inhumane decision.

He was said to be an arrogant man. A local person, Peter, said:
"He was very arrogant, he didn't know how to behave, he abused the animals and they had very bad conditions."

OMG amazing dog group photo by dog walker who was photographed taking the pic

You won't see a more impressive group dog photo and it's impromptu. It was taken by a dog walker whose name we don't know when out walking his group of dogs. He used his smart phone. Although the picture has been substantially photo-edited which he probably did himself in the phone before uploading it to social media where it ended up on Twitter, the source for me of the photo. 

We don't know if he knew that he was being photographed while he photographed the dogs but they make a really great combination.

You can see that when he took the photograph, he was looking at the dogs over his phone. He is not looking at the dogs through the phone which is interesting. Perhaps he felt that he could control the dogs better that way. And my God he did an amazing job of controlling them for the photo and/or they were very obedient.

We don't know where it was taken either. It looks like a Mediterranean country to me. Italy perhaps. 

Here are the pics. First the dog group photo and them him taking it.

The best dog group photo that you'll see
The best dog group photo that you'll see. Image: Twitter.

Everyone on Twitter who has seen it are as impressed as me and why not? 

The photographer who took the best dog group photo at the time he took it!
The photographer who took the best dog group photo at the time he took it! Image: Twitter.

Tuesday 23 May 2023

New York City woman is suing her veterinarian for $3 million for 'murdering' her cat. Discuss.

This is a highly unusual story. It is extremely rare (unique?) to succeed when suing your veterinarian for "murder". What she means, I suspect, is that she is suing her veterinarian for malpractice. For being negligent. Making a mistake. She wants $3 million in compensation. That's an awful lot and she won't get it. And I also believe that she will not win the case and I'll tell you why.

Misia. Photo: Alina. It looks like she was a former TNR stray cat.

Misia was a 15-year-old tuxedo cat that her owner, Alina Kedzierska, rescued. They had a great relationship. But in June 2020 Misia, was found on the floor next to her bed in a "strange position". She couldn't move and Alina rushed her to the local animal hospital which is the Animal Medical Center (AMC) on E. 67th St.

Her cat was seen by a veterinarian who had been at the clinic since 2019. Her name is Lauren Saunders. She is a senior veterinarian there. She diagnosed a feline stroke and said that Misia had to be euthanised. Alina reluctantly agreed.

She must have discussed the matter with another veterinarian afterwards who said that it is possible to treat a feline stroke with medication: anticoagulant therapy. In which case she would have been alive today Alina claims.

The hospital made another mistake (or was it?) when they cremated Misia without Alina's consent as I understand it. She wanted an autopsy done but it didn't happen. They also lost Misia's body for a while and ignored Alina's request for a necropsy (autopsy).

So, there are two weaknesses as I see it with this claim. Firstly, it does seem pretty clear that the veterinarian did make a mistake but that's going to be challenged. The question is, was this the kind of mistake that a reasonable veterinarian could make? Veterinarians are not robots. They make mistakes. Courts have to factor that into their decisions. If a veterinarian makes a reasonable mistake, you can't successfully sue them for compensation.

The question is would a reasonably competent veterinarian have made the same decision under the same circumstances? If the answer is yes then there is no negligence.

There has to be quite a lot of leeway in a negligence claim against medical professional because you can't expect them to be perfect. And Misia was 15 years old. It may be the case that she wouldn't have been greatly benefited by medication and treatment for a stroke.

I'm not deliberately painting a negative picture but a realistic one. Another issue is that a domestic cat is not worth $3 million even when you factor in the emotional loss. I have said in the past that under the circumstances if a claim is successful, the owner should receive a minimum sum in compensation to take into account emotional distress which is fixed under statute i.e. federal or local law. That sum could be $10,000. It would reflect the loss of a family member as important to the owner as a child or relative.

Owners of cats and dogs poisoned to death by commercially prepared foods should receive an automatic $10,000 payment in compensation.

But at the moment courts rarely include compensation for emotional distress. So, she has a mountain to climb to win the case and to win that kind of compensation which, in truth, won't actually happen.

There is perhaps one last point to make. When you are with a veterinarian and they say that in their opinion your cat has to be euthanised because of XYZ, it might be useful to take a deep breath and tell them that you are going to seek a second opinion. 

Agreeing to euthanasia is going to be a final decision which cannot be reversed. I think under the pressure of being with a veterinarian and your cat being seriously ill, you need to take a backward step and give yourself a little bit of time to reflect on what is going on in order to come to the right decision.

I am grateful to the New York Post for the story.

Puppy needs IMMEDIATE rescue from abusive owner as seen on video (India)

We have the general address. Somebody needs to try and find out where this man lives and ideally arrest him for animal abuse under India's animal welfare laws which is unlikely but at least remove the puppy from him and take the him/her to an animal shelter for rehoming.  The tweet reporting this is dated May 16th. Something may have happened already but it unlikely.

The video (below) appears to have a reference to the location of the apartment in a URL (web address) and it tells us the name of the development. 

This is the address: 

Address: Survey No 25, Kondhwa-Undri-Saswad Rd, Near Undri Chowk, Katraj Saswad Bypass, Mohammed Wadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411060, India

India has decent animal welfare laws as the British introduced them when they ran the country although they need updating.

The man lives in Pune, India. He lives in a large block of flats. Somebody in an adjacent block of flats had the foresight to record his abuse on their smart phone and so we have a decent video in terms of definition (although it could be a bit better), which may help to identify him.

It is a distressing video if you are in any way concerned about animal welfare. Why he has a companion animal is beyond me. He is clearly unfit to own any animal. He is ignorant and insensitive.

The video comes from Twitter and the person who posted the tweet asks for immediate action for the dog to be removed and rescued.

All I am doing is spreading the word. I do not expect any success but unless we try, we never know. Please spread the word.

Monday 22 May 2023

There are deficiencies in indoor cat housing causing multiple behavioural problems

The title comes from a study dated 1997 of around 1200 cats living indoors full-time.

Many more domestic cats are full-time indoor cats today, 2023, then there were 20 years ago. There is a trend towards keeping domestic cat indoors full-time. 

The domestic cat, it is said, is barely domesticated. They retain, underneath the surface, their wild cat behaviours. This includes the size of their home range and all the other behaviours to do with a solitary, predatory lifestyle.

Full-time indoor cat superhighway. An important aspect of creating a good indoor environment
Full-time indoor cat superhighway. An important aspect of creating a good indoor environment. Image in public domain.

In 1997, a study assessed the behaviour of just under 1200 full-time indoor cats owned by 550 owners. A total of 65% of the cats were standard random-bred cats described as "domestic European shorthairs". 

Just under 80% were sterilized animals. Comment: this is a quite a high percentage of unsterilised domestic cats which may have had an effect on the conclusions because unsterilised gets retain more of their wild cat inherited behaviours all of which will be unwanted by a human.

87 percent of the owners were female and 59% of the household had more than one cat with an average of 2.2 cats per household.

On average, an individual cat used 34 m² of living space and had five different resting places.

Cat walks
Cat walks. Important for full-time indoor cats. Image in public domain.

Importantly, the owner's bed was the favourite resting place in 52% of the cases. Comment: this is because the owner's bed carries the most body odour of any other area in the home. And body odour is very important to domestic cats. It's also why sometimes domestic cats defecate on their owner's bed when they are stressed. They want to merge their scent in their faeces with the scent of their owner to reassure themselves.

RELATED: Every full-time indoor cat should have a window box (at least).

55% of the owners let the cat out under various levels of control. 79% fed their cats in the kitchen and 24% of the cats had communal food bowls.

A total of 51% of the cats had to share their cat toilet. Comment: this is a very bad policy. Jackson Galaxy, the well-known American cat behaviourist advises that there should be one cat litter per cat plus one extra. 

You do not want resource guarding behaviour by a dominant cat over a subservient cat which might take place if there isn't enough litter trays. And to share food bowls will help promote the same problem.

22% of the cat were fed in the same room as their toilet. That means that one-fifth of cases the food bowl was in the same room as the litter tray which is also a very bad idea.

The picture painted by the study is that the owners were not doing a great job looking after their full-time indoor cats. This is probably why in 54.7% of the households the owners complained of one or more behavioural problems with their cats.

The owners were given self-assessment questionnaires. The most often mentioned cat behaviour problems were:

  • A state of anxiety in 16.7% of the cats,
  • 15.2% of the cat scratched furniture,
  • Feeding problems accounted for 10.9% of complaints,
  • 10.5% of cat owners complained about cat aggression
  • 8.2% of the owners complained about inappropriate urination and urine spraying
  • And defecation in the home was a problem in 5.2% of the cases.

They concluded that neutered females exhibited problems most often. Owners with children complained more often about cat behaviour. Comment: probably because the kids were mishandling the cats and getting scratched and the cats were getting stressed.

When the owner spent more time interacting with their cat i.e. for several hours spread over the day they mentioned problems less often.

Cat owners spent less effort trying to resolve cat anxiety problems and scratching furniture problems than other problems.

In many cases the owners were unable to solve the problems on their own

The overall conclusion was that "there are deficiencies in indoor cat housing and that owners need help to correct them."

RELATED: The big flaw that is never admitted in keeping cats indoors full-time.

I have said it before; with the trend for full-time indoor cats not enough is being done in parallel with this to ensure that the environment is adequate as a good substitute for the indoor/outdoor environment. This is going to cause behavioural problems. This may in turn lead to an increase in cats being abandoned to shelters or simply dumped.

Study: Housing conditions and behavioural problems of indoor cats as assessed by their owners. Link:

Anal electrocution of animals in fur trade. Protest outside Dior.

LVMH owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Dior and other fashion brands. PETA tells me that they refuse to embrace faux fur to meet the demands of informed and compassionate consumers and continue to deal with real fur traders. The fur trade is viciously cruel. 

Anal electrocution of animals in fur trade
Anal electrocution of animals in fur trade. Screenshot.

It doesn't matter how you look at it. The whole concept is horrendous to any decent-minded person. China is the biggest producer and they treat their animals appallingly. It's bad enough to take the skin off the back of animals for f**k**g fashion but to kill them in the most appalling way is shameful, unforgivable and the work of the devil.

This protest took place this month. The tweet is dated May 16th, 2023.

PETA tells me that many animals on fur farms "slowly go insane and even self-mutilate from the stress of intensive confinement."

They say that an investigation into Italian fur farms revealed several injured minks as well as dead minks left inside cages to rot. The survivors were killed by gassing.

On a fur farm in Norway, investigators found six fox cubs confined to a cage with their dead and rotting mother. Foxes are devoted parents and mother foxes commit themselves to protecting their babies.

I can go on and on and on about the cruelty of the fur trade and it is the same no matter where you look. And the bosses at LVMH won't stop dealing in real fur. I've just visited a Dior products website. I don't know whether the fur coats were vintage or modern. It didn't say. But I'm told that they still produce fur garments.

What is sad for me, is that videos on YouTube and on Twitter of these protests don't get enough views. This tells me that not enough people are genuinely interested in protecting the animals from this horrendous cruelty. Perhaps Dior and their masters know this. They know that there is an apathy in the world about the fur trade and perhaps even animal abuse generally. That is why they can get away with it and brush the protesters aside.

The only way to beat it is to continually press and harass until they finally change their ways. Some people say that the big fashion houses have already changed their ways but clearly, they haven't. For example, one website asks "Are anti-fur protesters hopelessly out of touch?"

What on earth do they mean? There article was written in 2018. Protesters against fur farming will never be out of touch until it stops for good. The video on this page is horrendous. There's a guy on a megaphone telling people that the fur farm businesses electrocute the animals who give up their skin by sticking a probe up their anus or their vagina. I mean what in heavens name is going on in the world if humankind allows that to happen? It's just totally sick and all for the sake of fashion.

And here is another thing: the people, normally women who wear these garments are equally to blame. Why aren't they shunning these garments once and for all? They are accessories to what I would argue is a serious and mass crime. Of course, it is not a crime technically in most (all?) countries but in a better world it would have been. It is certainly deeply immoral.

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