4, 2016 - "To understand a cat, you must realize that
he has has own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality." -
Lilian Jackson Braun
Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "I'll hold these truths AFTER my nap."
Mewvie: Just enjoying the fireworks.
Street Art: Cats know a lot about independence.
of July not a blast for dogs and cats.
by Sarah Scarminach
For most people, July 4 is synonymous with barbecues, beer and all things
red, white and blue.
And a big attraction — beyond a day off from work for most people — is
the fireworks. Every year, residents and visitors turn out for the various
pyrotechnic displays offered throughout Santa Barbara County.
But while the crowds are oohing and aahing the aerial shows, many of
their pets can become terrified when exposed to the explosive sounds.
Hundreds of animals are lost each year as a result of the loud noises
produced by the fireworks, according to Santa Barbara County Animal Services.
The sound, which is infinitely louder for pets due to their acute hearing,
frightens most animals and can cause them to run away.
“The noises are loud and erratic,” said Stacy Silva, an Animal Services
community outreach coordinator. “They’re not something any animal
is used to, and it’s exceptionally frightening.
"If [the animals] are kept in a yard, they can’t tell that the noise
isn’t coming from their area. Their reaction is to try and get away as
fast as possible.”
In an effort to combat this, Animal Services has compiled a list of precautions
and tips in order to ensure your pet’s safety during this time.
• Current tags and microchips are strongly recommended for all animals--yes,
even cats--as this will drastically increase the speed of your lost pet’s
• If possible, keep pets inside in a quiet room, or in their kennels. Regardless
of the security of a yard, when frightened, pets will attempt anything to get
• For animals that are extremely noise sensitive, have someone stay at
home with them, or consider a boarding kennel for the night.
• Smaller sounds are encouraged, like the TV and radio, since these can
distract pets from the larger disturbances and keep them calm.
• Try and tire out your pets before the show starts. Especially with dogs,
a nice long walk will help them stay more relaxed.
• Above all else, they strongly advise not to take your pet to the fireworks
In the event that these preventative measures do not work, make sure
to contact your nearest Animal Services Shelter to find lost pets.
5, 2016 - "The last thing I would accuse a cat of
is innocence." - Edward Paley
Gratuitous Kittiness: "They call me.... Dr. Teeth."
Mewvie: Nothing like a little tail.
Feline Art: "Sleeping
Cats" by Paul Klee.
6, 2016 - "When I play with my cat, who knows if I
am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?"-
Michel E. de Monaigne
Gratuitous Kittiness: Warning - Naps are contagious.
Mewvie: A classic cat conversation.
Art: "THe surreal Cat", artist unknown.
the library cat reinstated.
by Rick Harris
Browser the library cat will not be facing unemployment after all.
The beloved feline, who was adopted by the White Settlement Public Library
in Texas six years ago to help with a rodent problem, will remain in
his home, despite a previous motion to remove him. The White Settlement
city council voted unanimously on Friday to reverse its decision after
its initial movement to evict the cat a few weeks ago received an incredible
amount of backlash.
Ron White, the mayor of White Settlement, told ABC News that since the
original motion to remove Browser, he has received more than 1,500 emails
in support of Browser staying at the library. The emails came from all
50 states, Australia, Canada, Iceland, France, Germany, England, Guam,
Malaysia and Singapore, according to White.
White himself has never been in favor of removing Browser and it remains
unclear why the councilmen suddenly took issue with the cat.
One of the largest arguments against Browser was the inconvenience he
presents for community members with a cat allergy. White maintains that
an air purifier in the library removes over 99 percent of allergens from
The motion to reinstate Browser was introduced by Elzie Clements, the
very councilman that initially led the movement against the cat. White
said he does not think the councilmen who motioned to oust Browser realized
the amount of backlash it would elicit. “I don’t think they
understood what they had done to begin with and how it would affect everybody,” he
The city was largely in favor of keeping the cat, collecting over 1,000
signatures for a petition in his favor.
Now that the controversy is behind the small city, White said he is glad
it’s all over with. “It was a waste of time and money. It
was ridiculous to do that and they did it without thinking ahead,” he
said. “It was absolutely wrong to begin with.”
Clements did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.
7, 2016 - "Cats are living adornments." - Edwin
Gratuitous Kittiness: "Decriminalize pot now."
Mewvie: "How the hell does this work?"
Feline Art: John Lennon and cat.
8, 2016 - "No one shall deny me my own conclusions,
nor my cat her reflective purr."
- Irving Townsend
Gratuitous Kittiness: "And always remember to floss."
Mewvie: All about Lil Bub.
Art: Gustav Klimt and cat.
to tell if your cat is aging well.
by Rick Harris
We all want our cats to live forever (except when they’re waking
us up at 6am for biscuits), and while feline immortality is still out
of our grasp, it’s not that unusual for cats to live into their
20s - a solid effort for such little guys.
But how can you tell if your cat has a good shot at making it to 21 -
the feline equivalent of 100 - and can you change its fate?
Two major studies have brought together knowledge from a team of veterinary
experts from around the world on the common changes experienced by ageing
cats, looking at everything from musculoskeletal system wear and tear
to cognitive and behavioural health.
The aim was to establish the signs of healthy ageing in cats, because
while it's generally accepted that there's a lot that owners and vets
can do to ensure the physical and mental health of older adults, that's
not much help if you don't know what signs to look out for.
This is especially pertinent now, with roughly 20 percent of cats in
the US estimated to be 11 years or older.
Anyone with a cat in their life will know that they're probably going
to stick around for a while, with the average lifespan of indoor house
cats these days hitting an impressive 12 to 15 years.
This has increased dramatically over the past few decades, with the average
cat living to just seven years in the early 1980s, and just over nine
years in 1995.
If your cat ages in a healthy way, chances are they’ll even make
it to their 20s. And who knows, maybe yours will rival Creme Puff, the
oldest known cat, who lived to a ripe old age of 38, enjoying a rather
sophisticated diet of bacon and eggs, asparagus, broccoli, and coffee
with heavy cream.
High fives, Creme Puff, you were awesome.
Just to give you an idea of how incredible Creme Puff was, here’s
the rundown of cat years vs human years, from the Cornell University
College of Veterinary Medicine:
"[A] one-year-old cat is physiologically similar to a 16-year-old human,
and a two-year-old cat is like a person of 21. For every year thereafter, each
cat year is worth about four human years. Using this formula, a 10-year-old cat
is similar age-wise to a 53-year-old person, a 12-year-old cat to a 61-year-old
person, and a 15-year-old cat to a person of 73."
So what does healthy ageing in a cat look like? According to the two
studies, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery here
and here, as your cat ages, it will likely experience several behavioural
changes; changes in appearance; and functional changes, related to its
The researchers say that your cat should retain its ability to play and
jump through ageing, even if it's a bit reduced, and should be able to
maintain a healthy weight with no significant changes to muscle mass
or body fat.
Fur might start thinning, whiskers could turn black, and the skin might
go scaly with reduced cleaning.
Here's a rundown of some more normal, healthy things an ageing cat might
Appearance changes: Changes in the appearance of the eye, including lenticular
sclerosis - which gives the pupil a cloudy, blue-grey-white appearance
- and iris atrophy; decreased skin elasticity and brittle, thickened
nails; slight changes in weight and vision. Teeth can experience a thickening
of dental walls, causing them to appear yellow, off-white, or even glassy.
Daily functional changes: Change in activity patterns, decreased mobility
and a decline in vision, decline in their sense of smell and hearing.
The researchers also define a healthy aged cat as one that shows none
of the DISHA pattern of signs that's used to identify cognitive decline
in ageing dogs:
D: disorientation - getting lost in familiar areas, not recognising family
I: Interaction changes - social interactions might change between the
pet and owner or between other pets. They might get more clingy, or more
distant and irritable.
S: sleep/wake disturbances - they might sleep more during the day, or
wake up at nights, or have irregular sleep-wake cycles.
H: house-soiling - going to the toilet indoors, or where they normally
A: activity changes and anxiety - an overall decrease in activity levels
and decreased interest in play, or restlessness and repetitive behaviours
such as licking.
" As in humans, many of the changes that occur with ageing in cats are not
considered pathological and do not negatively affect overall wellness or quality
of life," the researchers explain. "However, ruling out disease is
essential when attempting to determine whether an aged cat can be considered
For more info, you can read the two studies online for free here and
here, and take your pal to the vet whenever you notice something amiss.
Hopefully it doesn't hold a grudge for too long...