Saturday, September 23, 2017

Encore! miscellany of cat briefs continues

 “There are no ordinary cats.” -- Colette
                                                                             Dodo image
Mmm, mmm, good!  It’s hard to imagine craving a nice snack of . . . grass, although it seems that cats do just that. Why?

According to Catster online, it’s a historical habit, even though cats are “obligate carnivores” and could exist on animal protein alone. For felines, the right kind of grass can be a digestive aid, help control hairballs (via vomiting, stimulated by eating grass) and provide nutritional supplements. 

And for cats’ people, that can mean occasional puddles on the rug – a little hair, a little grass, a little clean-up. 

Stop shelter killings!

No matter where you get your facts and figures, animal shelters are no place for cats. For instance, Alley Cat Allies says “More than 70% of all cats entering US shelters are killed.” (Note: not “humanely euthanized,” as it’s sometimes worded, because if healthy cats die in shelters, that’s not humane anything; it's killing.)

Other sources, other numbers, but they all pretty much boil down to “every year, all over the country, our nation’s animal shelters kill millions of healthy cats,” says ACA leader Becky Robinson. Not all those cats who are killed are feral, or community cats, either -- although it’s true that in some places, “feral” equates with automatic killing.  It’s as if Trap-Neuter-Return isn't a perfectly viable alternative.

But, some shelters cry, we are overloaded with cats and have no choice. Wrong!  The live-release rate at Miami Dade County Animal rose from 43% in 2010 to 90% in 2015 – largely because of its “return-to-field” program, through which the shelter “simply stopped accepting and euthanizing stray cats.”  
Instead, those cats are vetted for free and taken back to where they came from. No cats are added to the community, while existing cats are returned vetted, better-behaved and sterile to their outdoor homes. Then, natural attrition gradually occurs.

How old is that cat?        
Those who think cats age seven years for every calendar year have it wrong. Fact is, felines age faster
Billy Summers
during their first two years alive. During her first year, a cat reaches the approximate human age of 15, then “turns” 24 at age 2. After that, it’s four “cat years” for every calendar year – so a 5-year old feline would be about 36 cat years old altogether – 24 for the first two calendar years, then 3 more years x 4 cat years, or 12; and 12 plus 24 = 36.
Cats who live outdoors age much quicker, maybe even twice as fast as indoor cats. (another reason to keep cats indoors!)
Let’s see: Harry Summers is 12 – so at age 2, he was 24 cat years old.  Because he has 10 more years, each one equating to 4 cat years, add 40 years for the original 24. Harry’s now 64 cat years old.  (Yes, I’ll still need you, yes, I’ll still feed you . . .!)

Billy is 10 – so he was 24 cat years old at age 2, then 4 cat years times each of the remaining 8 years, or 32. Billy is 56 cat years old (and I’ll still need and feed you too, Cutie!)

Survival of the polydactyls
From amid the ruination of Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida, 54 polydactyl cats survived by sheltering in place. So did the staff members who share the one-time home of writer Ernest Hemingway with the felines.
In fact, many of the cats reportedly sought cover inside even before the storm hit, which was seen as a sign of their intelligence.

Known for their six and even seven-toed paws, some of these survivors are descendants of a white polydactyl owned by the Hemingways.  For tourists, the cats can be as much a draw as the home itself.  

Apollo and Zeus, two tigers saved by PAWS


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  1. Another great article Pat! I missed the last one so had to go back and read it. This time I have three things to comment on:

    1) Whisker fatigue: The shallow bowls work so well with my 3 old gals that have had multiple teeth removed. I am thrilled that I no longer scrape the food out of the corners where it goes to waste. I feed less, but they take in more nutrition. BTW: I am using antique Mikasa saucers and I am sure I hear my mother in heaven screaming at me about using the good china but they are the perfect dish and it saves me money in the long run. Thanks for the tip!

    2) Kill Shelters: On this subject I am absolutely livid that we STILL HAVE kill shelters left in this country! It is unacceptable period! EVERY animal is a precious life no matter how ugly (one eye and tongue sticking out) they are! In fact, the ugliest are the MOST BEAUTIFUL to me! If more people understood just how many good, loving, and faithful animals are destroyed every year I am certain they would look at their dog or cat quite differently! WE NEED TO GET MORE NO-KILL SHELTERS UP AND RUNNING IN THESE AREAS AND SHUT THE KILL SHELTERS DOWN PERMANENTLY! Sorry for shouting :(

    3) Grass for Digestion. Did you know that fresh catnip is also good for their digestion. Of course as with all things it should be fed IN MODERATION. LOL

    As always, your thought provoking blogs are informative and helpful. Keep 'em coming.

  2. Please keep shouting, Donna--I love it! Of course: the shallow bowls for cats who are missing teeth; that may be a marketing ploy for Dr. Catsby (are you reading this, Eric?!). Yes: end kill shelters (and people who kill, like some ACOs and even vets, who think that's what do do about 'ferals'). Gotcha on catnip though alas my crop didn't flourish this summer. . .

    1. No prob, I'll keep shouting Pat.

      As to catnip: I found that planting from seed in containers works quite well. They prefer shade too. Let them get well established before allowing the cats to munch on them. Enjoy!