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Infinite Cat Project Archives for September 26-30, 2016.

Mewsings: September 26, 2016 - "My little grandson is a darling, but he can never take the place of my cats." - Anonymous Grandmothery

cat sleeping in bin full of pillows

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Hey! These things must really work."

Cat Mewvie: "Open the door and let me in."

cats are a pain in the ass

Today's Kitty Komic

marguerite gerard the cat's lunch

Feline Art: "The Cat's Lunch" by Marguerite Gerard.

cat biting hand

Fleas instrumental part of cat scratch fever.

Think of the phrase “cat scratch fever,” and likely, it’s followed by a guitar riff, thanks to Ted Nugent’s 1977 rock song.

But cat scratch disease is an actual illness, and the Centers for Disease Control says the risk is real.

In fact, the agency recently alerted pet owners to the dangers of the illness, noting that the impact is bigger than officials realized.

Now, let’s pause for a moment and consider cat ownership. With kittens especially, scratching happens. The Humane Society notes that kittens are all about play, and they love to “hunt,” even stalking and pouncing on their humans — and that can involve biting and scratching.
Any cat owner has probably been scratched a few times, be it in play, while administering medication, taking the cat to the vet, or simply because the cat wanted to notify someone that her food bowl was empty. Stressed or anxious cats might inflict injuries upon their owners even more.

For humans, symptoms of cat scratch disease include fever, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. But in a small percentage of cases, the CDC reports the illness can cause swelling of the brain or heart infections, which can in turn be fatal.

The disease is caused by a bacterium, Bartonella henselea, the CDC reports, which is spread among cats by the cat flea. Humans are infected when they are scratched by an infected cat.
Officials note that most of those who experience severe symptoms have compromised immune systems.

The CDC reports that comprehensive flea control for cats could help reduce the risk of humans getting cat scratch disease. The agency also recommends keeping cats indoors.
Another important action is to wash hands after any contact with a cat. As with most health concerns, proper hand washing is a critical defense.

Pet owners tend to be pretty loyal to their pets, and we’re skeptical that this report would dissuade people from owning a cat. However, if it sparks people to take better care of their cats and to crack down on fleas, that’s great news.

Mewsings: September 27, 2016 - "For me, one of the pleasures of cats' company is their devotion to bodily comfort." - Sir Compton Mackenzie

kitten in a money jar

Gratuitous Kittiness: Always save a kitty for a rainy day.

Cat Mewvie: Turtle attack.

cats and dogs are safer than other animals

Today's Kitty Komic

wat watwercolor novikova

Feline Art: "Tubby Cat" by Svetlana Novikova.

Mewsings: September 28, 2016 - "Cats are smart. You know it and I know it." - Debbie Mertens

cat in dog's mouth

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Oh, lord. Not again."

Cat Mewvie: Up close and personal with a cougar.

cat as motorcycle

Today's Kitty Komic

cat blanket on couch

Feline Art: "Cat Heart" tattoo. Artist unknown.

Britain's old cat

Banjo, Britain's oldest cat?
by Helena Horton

An abandoned cat, Banjo, is believed to be Britain's oldest feline.

He was found surviving alone by RSPCA Southall Cattery, who were shocked by how old he appeared to be.

They believe he is 27 - which would make him the oldest cat in Britain and 125 in human years.

His rescuers don't know why he was abandoned, as he was microchipped in 1991, but it is remarkable he survived on the streets at such an advanced age.

They are now trying to find him a home so he can have a comfortable retirement.

"Banjo must have used up all of his nine lives by now," centre manager Beverly Leavy said.

"He is such a charming, sweet old man, he is eating well and enjoying life in the cattery."

The cattery has contacted Guinness Book of Records to confirm he is indeed the oldest cat in Britain.

Aneel Odhwani, the animal care assistant who has been looking after Banjo, said: "He’s friendly and laid back, very undemanding. He loves his food and he loves being groomed – the ideal cat to rehome,

"We’ve had people asking on our Facebook page, 'How do you know old old he is? Because he looks so young!'

"We don’t even know if the [previous] owners know his real age, he could have any story."
People who work at the cattery contacted the number on his microchip, but never received a response.

Luckily, they have found a home for him if he does not get claimed by the end of the month.
Michelle Do Carmo, clinic manager, said: "For older cats we look for a quiet home where they can relax and enjoy his retirement – somewhere a bit more chilled out and quiet".

She didn't know why someone would abandon such an elderly cat.

"It could be a number of reasons, as everyone has got different backgrounds", she said.

"Most of the time it’s money issues or they’ve got evicted or are moving home."

Mewsings: September 29, 2016 - "Cats are living adornments." - Edwin Lent

cat in rapture

Gratuitous Kittiness: "Rapture! Bliss!"

Cat Mewvie: "My food! MINE!"

cats versus cukes comic

Today's Kitty Komic

painting on black and white cat

Feline Art: "A cat study in black-and-white". Artist unknown.

Mewsings: September 30, 2016 - "Don't think that I'm silly for liking it, I just happen to like the simple little things, and I love cats!" - Michelle Gardner

cat shredding toilet paper

Gratuitous Kute Kittiness: "Sorry, I haven't a square to spare."

Cat Mewvie: The Cat Man of Aleppo (See story below)

cat woman cartoon

Today's Kitty Komic

two cats waking up art

Feline Art: "Two Cats Waking Up". Artist unknown.

cat man of aleppo

Aleppo Man Stays to Care For Stray and Abandoned Cats

SYRIA – Each morning, Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel drives to the local butcher shop and purchases $2.50 worth of meat scraps. On good days, the sympathetic proprietor will give Aljaleel a bit of a discount or even throw in some bits and bones for free. Along with everyone else in this part of Aleppo, Syria, the butcher knows Aljaleel isn’t purchasing the meat to eat himself but for 150 street cats—most of them former pets abandoned when their owners fled the city or were killed.

In the years since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, Aljaleel became his hometown’s unofficial feline caretaker. Shortly after the crisis began, the former electrician had an opportunity to take his wife and three children to Turkey, where he had a promise of working as a mechanic. But along with his family, he chose to stay behind to help those less fortunate than himself, not just people but also animals.

“I regard animals and humans in the same light,” he says. “All of them suffer pain, and all of them deserve compassion.”

As a lifelong cat lover, Aljaleel first noticed a few strays hanging around the rubble of a home destroyed by an airstrike. He somehow felt compelled to feed them. Soon five animals turned into 10, then 20—as he says, “cats always find out when there’s food around.”

He estimates now he feeds about 150 cats today Thirty of the cats now have names, including his favorite, Zorro the Noble.

“It brings the kids so much joy to play with them,” Aljaleel says. “I take great pride in the work I’m doing.”

Some might argue that Aljaleel’s time and resources would be better spent helping human victims of war. But the randomly few individuals and organizations that work with pets and other animals caught up in conflict zones firmly believe their efforts are more than worthwhile. Helping animals, they point out, helps people. Farmers’ livelihoods may be wrapped up in their livestock, while cats and dogs are often beloved members of the family. Many refugees have walked over 300 miles with their dogs or taken kittens aboard rafts headed for Greece.

As for the cats of Aleppo, their future is uncertain as is the future of Aljaleel.

“Every day, when I leave my house, I know I might not return,” he says. “In Syria, it’s only going from bad to worse.” Yet despite the escalating violence, he has no plans to leave or give up on the cats. Instead, he has aspirations of opening his own animal shelter and hospital. “I’m aware that other countries have lots more resources for animals, but here we don’t even have many good doctors, let alone veterinarians,” he says. “Although there is no such thing as animal shelters in Syria now, I dream of building one.”


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