Saturday 3 February 2024

Frail, elderly cat survives encounter with the world's second most venomous snake

NEWS AND VIEWS - BRISBANE: The experts have decided that this was an Eastern Brown snake. It is described as having venom which is rated as the second most toxic of all snake venoms in the world. An untreated Eastern Brown snake bite can kill a person in under an hour and it is arguably the quickest killing venom in the world. An expert said that no other snake in the world has killed people so quickly and so regularly.

Frail, elderly cat survives encounter with the world's second most venomous snake. Picture: Rebecca Daynes.

And this snake was found wrapped around the neck of a frail and elderly cat by the cat's owner, Rebecca Daynes. It seems the stake came out of the bush as her home backs onto the kind of habitat where this snake lives.

She says that she was terrified which is entirely understandable and that she removed the snake from her cat describing that moment as "probably the most stupid thing I could have done". It is reported that she used salad tongs to remove the snake. 😊

The remarkable aspect of the story is that the snake didn't bite the cat or Rebecca Daynes. In fact, the story says that the snake was injured but survived the encounter as did the cat.

The snake wriggled off back into the bushland and Rebecca Daynes hopes that it will survive.

It's not known why the snake decided to wrap itself around her cat's neck but it is suggested that it was to defend itself.

A while ago I did some research on reaction times of snakes and cats. Cats have faster reaction times than snakes which is remarkable considering that snakes have a very fast reaction times. It's partly why cats can kill snakes and avoid a bite. When a snake lunges forward to bite a cat, the cat simply rears backwards and outpaces the snake's movements.

An then the cat will bat the snake around the head and ultimately kill the snake. That is how the diminutive sand cat operates to kill snakes as prey animals.

This snake was injured so it looks as though it was attacked by the cat in defence. Of course domestic cats do get bitten by snakes from time to time perhaps partly because the domestic cat is out of practice with dealing with them.

The last point to make is that Craig and Jackie Adams who ran a Facebook group about snake and spider safety awareness said that "Snake identification isn't always straightforward and many factors can make identification from a photo difficult". This implies that they are not sure that they snake was an Eastern Brown snake on my interpretation.

After the encounter, Rebecca Daynes said that her cat tried to go out again and hasn't learned any lessons! It looks as though she doesn't need to learn any lessons because she is well able to deal with snakes despite being frail and old.


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 2 February 2024

Cat takes mighty leap to successfully hit a Ring doorbell to be let inside

Determined and athletic cat leaps from parked car at the Ring doorbell to be let in. Where is the cat flap?!

The picture above comes from the video below which won't last long so enjoy it while you can! I can't find the original video and I think this one is a rip-off. But it is okay. 

It shows how domestic cats are amazingly resourceful in getting their way particularly to get inside their home. They learn how to attract attention. 

These must be homes where there is no cat flap. The cats get left outside. I wonder about that and ask why owners don't install cat flaps if they intend to let their cats go outside unsupervised.

Here is another video of a resourceful cat employing the same technique to be let in:

There are many examples on the internet. All are a testament to the intelligence and learning ability of the domestic cat plus there athleticism and resourcefulness. Impressive guys aren't they?


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 31 January 2024

Three ways for the elderly male cat owner to improve their health and lifespan

Three ways for the elderly male cat owner to improve their health and lifespan
Me and my girlfriend, Michelle. Touch wood I am healthy at 75. The frog?! Michelle loves him more than me. He is Jezza.

I am an elderly male cat owner! In The Times newspaper today, in a single publication which I think is unusual, there are three tips about one's health, one of which is directed at the elderly male and the other to anybody.

24-hour fasts

You may have heard that the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, likes to indulge in 36-hour fasts at the beginning of each working week. The man has extraordinary self-discipline. But he is convinced that it improves his health. He has a great BMI.

This ties in nicely with a story today in The Times about 24-hour fasts and how they may help to lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Regular periods of fasting with 24-hour is between meals could reduce the risk of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's according to a Cambridge University study.

This must interest elderly people or even younger people for that matter. In fact people of any age because a lot of old people die of Alzheimer's disease which is a form of dementia. My dad did for example.

And apparently it works like this. Fasting increases the production of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid. This fatty acid reduces the activity of an inflammasome specifically the NLRP3 inflammasome. And therefore there is less inflammation which is why a person is healthier. This particular inflammasome is very important in a number of major diseases such as obesity and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


Daily kimchi is linked to leaner waistlines. This is a traditional Korean diet and has been for centuries. It's based on cabbage which is soaked in salt and allowed to ferment. Fermentation is when the bacteria that is naturally present in foods breaks down into their compounds providing a sour flavour and releasing lots of probiotic bacteria which can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. There you go.

Get 3% fitter to cut the risk of prostate cancer by 33%

A study found that improving fitness by just 3% (a tiny amount) can reduce men's chances of developing prostate cancer by more than one third. There are numerous ways to get fitter by 3%! And prostate cancer is highly prevalent among older men. And it can kill men. The King has just gone to hospital to have his prostate shrunk. It was not a cancerous prostate but it was enlarged which is very typical for old men and it was stopping him peeing normally.

There you go, three little tips to improve health, two of which are for anybody and the third is for old men! I would recommend them.

I'm going to try fasting for 24-hours once per week but it will be very difficult for me. I try and keep fit by doing exercises and walking a lot and I will probably try kimchi but I do take probiotic tablets to ensure that my gut bacteria is in good condition! Good gut bacteria helps to maintain a good immune system. It is important.

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 29 January 2024

Litter box problems: the big why. Three categories.

Litter box problems are very common cat ownership problems and even more commonly written about on the Internet! It's got quite tiresome reading about them but I would like to very briefly mention the three categories which describe the reasons for inappropriate elimination i.e. litter box problems. 

This is a discussion article using Galaxy's book Total Cat Mojo as a source.

There are three primary umbrella categories and they are. As mentioned, I am referring to Jackson Galaxy's writings of which I have been critical sometimes. Unless I am misunderstanding him which would be entirely possible as his writing is impenetrable sometimes. 😢 Sorry. He is a great guy though. I just don't like his books.

Territorial stress: Jackson Galaxy says that one cause of litter box problems is territorial stress. He appears to be talking about the establishment and retention of a home range by domestic cat which is instinctive to the cat. And if their home range is invaded they might mark their territory at the extremities of the territory to tell invaders to stay away. But I don't think this is anything to do with inappropriate elimination i.e. peeing in litter box. Spraying urine on vertical surfaces is not about eliminating urine from the system. It's about sending a message to other cats. Although it might look like inappropriate elimination it isn't.

But Jackson does go on to say that when domestic cats are able to fully express their behaviours, in Jackson Galaxy language "the cats have total cat mojo", and they are unable to express their mojo because of territorial stress then they might urinate but this form of peeing will I believe be spraying rather than elimination. Perhaps the means that stress per se can disrupt the used of the litter tray. Certainly in multi-cat homes there is a great chance that the cat will be stressed because of territorial issues.

Mr Galaxy says that "If the mojo is missing, there will be pissing."

These threats within the territory might come from within the territory or outside the territory. If it outside the territory it will be an invasion which might shrink the territory. If it comes from within the home range i.e. territory it might be due to broken or non-existent relationships or changes within the "rhythm of the territory or the territory itself will threaten the mojo balance". This is typical Galaxy language which is almost impenetrable. But I think he means that there will be a limited hierarchy in multi-cat homes which should be in balance. If not it can stress cats.

Litter box aversion: this applies to cats that don't want to use a litter box for a number of reasons. It applies to using any place within the home other than the litter box to urinate and defecate. It may be due to declawing which makes their paws sore. It might be due to the substrate i.e. the material in the litter box. It might be to do with the size of litter box being too small. Litter box might be covered and this might upset the cat. Or it might be in the wrong place (too exposed). 

And it may be because other cats are using the litter box i.e. it's shared which is not a good idea. And there might be challenges from one cat to another to use the litter box which might cause litter box aversion. Sometimes in multi-cat homes, one cat bars other cats from using a single litter box or getting at food et cetera. It's a form of domination.

Medical issues: this overlaps with the above. In the words of Jackson Galaxy, "There can be a number of physical maladies that trigger eliminating outside the litter box. Left untreated, many of these can lead to, or serve as an indication of more serious health risks." He recommends a visit to a veterinarian without fail at the first sign of any litter box issues.

Declawing as mentioned comes to mind. Cystitis due to stress causes peeing on carpets and in baths. It is a bacterial infection of the bladder. It can be due to separation anxiety.

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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