Saturday, September 16, 2017

A miscellany of info briefs, all about . . . ?!

                                                   Dodo image
Both the subject and the reason for this post come down to one word: ailurophilia.  Relax! – it may sound like a disease, but in fact it’s very healthy, to the point of obsession.  It means “A fondness or love for cats or other felines.” 

(Ailurophilia [ahy-loo r-uh-FIL-ee-uh] combines the Greek aílouro meaning "cat" with philia, meaning “affection, affinity,” while ailurophobia refers to a persistent, irrational fear of cats.)

So many cats, so much to say about them – sometimes serious, sometimes trivial.  For instance on that last one, could what I have read be true: that female cats are “right-pawed,” while male cats are “left-pawed”?  I hope you’ll watch your kitties and see whether that claim is credible. (Which paw does your cat use to swat you with?)

Moving on to serious, let’s look at the plight of tigers in the wild world today, with info here thanks to the Performing Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS (  Both their mission and monthly newsletters are great. 

Endangered species stamp
 *    The largest of the big cats, tigers are on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 4,000 living in less than four percent of their former range.  (Only 100 years ago, 100,000 tigers roamed across Asia.)

*     Reasons for this disastrous decline: Poaching, overhunting by locals, habitat loss and fragmentation, and human-tiger conflicts.

*     5,000-10,000 tigers are held captive in U.S. backyards, petting zoos and even truck stops - more than the number of tigers in the wild!

Animal advocates go up and down when discussing whether it’s better or worse for animals today, compared with earlier times.  Consider this true story from 1938 England: Believing a German aerial bombing campaign was coming, pet owners in London euthanized some 400,000 cats and dogs.
They did this voluntarily, against contrary advice, and prematurely (bombs didn’t fall for seven more months). Besides its built-in huge shock, Hilda Kean’s The Great Cat and Dog Massacre offers a “psychological portrait of a society in wartime,” according to the book review.         
Harry Summers, dining
Which leads to “affection eating.”  Not really, but let’s talk about it anyway, since I often spend feline meal time rooting for Harry and Billy Summers as they eat.  Having noticed as a shelter volunteer that cats there often ignored their food until they’d been talked to and petted, I carried that observation home.  It was clear immediately that our boys stick to their meals if someone’s standing nearby, interested in their progress. 

A useful article on “affection (or attention) eating” in Catster online says “many cats enjoy being stroked or petted while they eat,” and offers reasons why cats may stop eating – and what to do about it.

Black cats: despite lingering (false) ideas about them – bad luck, satanic connections, and so on – they’re “just as cuddly and even just as likely to be adopted as any other cat,” according to Animal Sheltering online from the Humane Society of the US.

In fact, an ASPCA study cited there reports that because there are more black cats than any other-colored felines, it can appear as though they’re being overlooked by adopters (black dogs fall victim to this same misperception).

Get this: 33% of all cats coming into shelters were black cats, with gray cats in second place, at 22%. The good news: 31% of adoptions were black cats and 20% were grays.
Bottom line from HSUS:  “When you’re getting more black cats in, it creates this (false!) perception that black animals aren’t getting adopted as much.”    

   “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”-- Albert Schweitzer

                                                                                   Animal Sheltering image


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  1. A beautiful Harry picture!

  2. as a proud mom (and photographer), I'm forced to agree w/ you!