Thursday 25 May 2023

Ginger tabby almost drowns himself in cow's milk. Diarrhea should follow.

Well, cats love cow's milk as it is fatty. And this little ginger tabby loves milk more than most cats as he almost drowns himself in it as he submerges his head in the stuff. He comes up for air with his head covered. I think he hasn't learned yet that cow's milk tastes nice but it isn't so nice for the digestive tract.

P.S. Maybe he is fishing around for something in the milk. I am unsure. I think this is about youthful exuberance in finding a food they love but not having experienced the downsides.

Back in the day, say around a hundred years ago and even more recent than that, hundreds of millions of cat owners thought that giving their domestic cat cow's milk was the thing to do. Not nowadays. These days we are more educated generally and in respect of the feline diet. Did I say that people are more educated nowadays than a hundred years ago? I am not sure that that is true but let's move on.

Certainly, the internet has educated hundreds of millions of people about cat welfare including their diet. We know that the large majority of domestic cats are lactose intolerant and therefore they are intolerant of cow's milk. This is because they lack the enzyme to break it down. It causes bloating and diarrhoea.

The same thing happens with people. Many humans are turning away from cow's milk which is the wise thing to do. I am one of those people. Cow's milk causes bloating for me. I use oat milk but there are many alternatives these days. You can buy specially prepared milk for cat but it is very expensive.

Other symptoms of lactose intolerance may include:
  • tummy pain or discomfort.
  • bloating.
  • farting.
  • diarrhoea or constipation.
  • feeling sick or being sick.
The best solution is to give them water but ironically tap water sometimes doesn't taste very good for cats. That's why they tend to prefer rainwater in a paddle even if it is muddy compared to tap water in a bowl.

Tap water contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasite chemicals such as chloride. It cleans up the water but as domestic cats have very highly tuned senses including a great sense of smell, they don't like the smell of chlorine which they pick up but we don't.

Apparently if you leave it standing for a while it helps to allow the chlorine content to evaporate. I don't know if that is true but a good source told me that information.

Ginger tabby almost drowns himself in cow's milk. Diarrhea should follow.
Ginger tabby almost drowns himself in cow's milk. Diarrhea should follow. Screenshot.

When you shoot feral cats, you psychologically harm the people who care for them

Even in Australia where the feral cat is a pest to be killed in any way possible (irrespective of whether it's cruel or not), often by shooting, there are volunteers who operate TNR programs to manage feral cat colonies. One of these is in Newcastle, Australia and this study refers to them as the 'Stockton Breakwall' cats. Under the orders of the local authority the feral cats were shot at. The intention was to kill them but when you shoot at feral cats you don't always kill them cleanly; in fact probably hardly ever. You leave them severely injured and dying slowly. Barbaric, I say. Unforgivable.

When you shoot feral cats, you psychologically harm the people who care for them
When you shoot feral cats, you psychologically harm the people who care for them. Image: MikeB

This study says that the culling process was mismanaged. They say that it was mismanaged in two ways both in the intended euthanasia (laugh) of the feral cats concerned and in the psychological harm that this process caused to the TNR volunteers.

And I love this study because it looks at the effects of shooting feral cats from the standpoint of the people who want to care for them and who do the right thing. TNR volunteers are great people because they deal with feral cats humanely.

Nathan Winograd, one of America's great animal advocates, sets out six reasons why TNR programs are good for the community. A TNR program:

  1. Improves the health of community cats;
  2. Reduces intake and killing of community cats;
  3. Reduces complaint calls to animal control;
  4. Reduces illness in the shelter;
  5. Reduces waste of taxpayer money on impound and killing; and, 
  6. Increases opportunities to expand the lifesaving of other animals.

By contrast, he says that "lethal methods not only harm cats, they also harm people". The study I'm referring to is "The Impact of Lethal, Enforcement-Centred Cat Management on Human Wellbeing". Link:

In summary, they found that the bond between caregivers and cats was "as strong as the bonds with their own pets" and that the "the cats looked to them (the caregivers) to keep them safe and fed".

“I had a favourite called (Nala) and she was one of the ones that got killed… There’s people that really, really had such strong feelings for these animals… They are very loved.”
“They’re not feral. They’re pets waiting to go home, they really are. They’ve proven that to all of us that care for them. They just deserve better.”
“…the worst area. There was blood everywhere. All over the rocks, all over the pathway, like drag marks. So, once I’d sat with them, I’m going, ‘far out!’—something horrendous has happened here… I just started crying because the realization that out of the cats that were there, they probably only spotted about five. It was like, oh my God, what the hell has happened out here?”

“… two men came back in sort of like council suits, and they had some wheelie bins with them. They proceeded to scrub the blood away. They had cleaning products, and they were cleaning up the mess. We asked them what they were doing, and they laughed at us. That’s when we knew that this was something way bigger than we ever imagined.” 

We know that TNR volunteers give names to the semi-domesticated feral cats. They treat them as domestic cats and some of them are. They are adoptable. But they are living good lives in a feral cat community. The arrangement is beneficial for the human and the cat community. Why destroy that? And why destroy it in such a brutal and insensitive way?

I'll tell you why. It is because the Australian authorities across the continent have got it into their heads that they have to eradicate feral cats because they are preying upon their small mammal and marsupial native species. They want to conserve these small native species and of course I strongly agree with that objective.

But they can do far better in their objective if they looked to themselves and their behaviour. Human behaviour is far more destructive of Australia's native species then feral cat behaviour. Prioritise the most damaging cause of the gradual extirpation of native species which is human activity both in building new settlements as Australia is always doing to improve the economy and in terms of their contribution to global warming through the exportation of vast amounts of coal to China.

Australia has suffered from horrendous global warming events such as massive floods and intolerable heat waves. Look to yourselves I say and stop harming the kind and generous people who care for feral cats that were put there by human negligence.

It is unsurprising that feral cat caregivers suffer psychologically when their cats are shot brutally. The suffering was described as "significant". It led to "grief, trauma, poor physical health, and long-term psychological distress, including profound guilt, loss and the ability to eat" in the words of Nathan Winograd. Stop it!! You are insensitive and frankly ignorant when you order shooters to kill feral cats.

And what about the mistakes? Shooting someone's pet cat which must happen. Then you harm the owner psychologically as well. 

And what about shooting millions of kangaroos? 

Sleepy cat emerges from claw machine

BRAZIL: Cats will sleep anywhere. Sometimes in the most peculiar places which look uncomfortable to us. This ginger tabby appears to have made this game arcade his home and in doing so found it very comfortable to snooze on the plush toys inside this claw grabbing game. When the participants grabbed hold of a plush toy, the toy didn't emerge out of the exit but the ginger tabby cat did! He must have been disturbed by the claw grab moving around. It must've irritated him and he decided to find a quieter spot.

No, this is not about declawing. You might have thought that which is why I pitched the title as I did. I needed to get some hits! Sorry but the internet is massively competitive, almost impossibly so.

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.

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