PoC Comment Charity Scheme – September Donation

The total number of comments since May 25th 2012 on PoC is 19,252 at 10:30 GMT 30th Sept 2013. At the same time a month ago the comment total stood at 17,692.

That makes 1,560 comments for September at 5 cents per comment which makes $78 or £48.51.

I’ll round that up to £50 for this month’s cat charity donation.

I’ll add to this page tomorrow morning, first thing. In the meantime if anyone can make a good suggestion as to which cat charity should receive the money that would be nice.

I would like to thank everyone who has commented. Comments are a great way to contribute to the page and make some money for cat charities.

There is still a lot of work to do to improve the lives of domestic and community cats. I see a slight trend developing towards a change in attitude about declawing and phased in regulations regarding cat ownership, management and breeding. The objective is to ensure that all domestic cats are loved and cared for properly and that there are no abandoned cats who suffer short, miserable lives.

If no one has a preference as to a suitable recipient of this month’s donation of £50 then I’ll have a go at choosing one within the week.

Thanks again for your much appreciated support of PoC and cats.

Note: PoC donates $25 every month to Texas Maine Coon Rescue and has done for years.

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Kitten found on roadside stole heart of Cats Protection fosterer

Vicky is a fosterer for Wear Valley and Darlington Cats Protection. She writes the following on her website:

I would not change it for the world, but what I would love to see change is people’s attitudes… towards cruelty, towards neglect, towards abandonment and towards NEUTERING.

Rescued cat fostered by Cats Protection
Saeko. Photo by Vicky

Neglect, neutering and abandonment are big issues in the cat world. I have just written about the laws bringing about change to cat ownership in Tasmania (the country where Maggie lives, a former PoCer).

Those laws are about attempts to reduce abandonment and increase neutering and responsible cat ownership.

Vicky’s experiences highlight the problem areas of cat management across the globe. They are the same problems wherever you are.

Vicky has been busy these past two years fostering cats for Cats Protection. She has cared for a good number of cats, indicating the scale of the problem. She has quite a fancy facility at home (I presume she fosters from her home). She has two enclosures, I think you might call them that. Vicky calls them “pens”.

Always of interest to me is how hard it might be to rehome a cat that you have fostered and so it happened to Vicky when she cared for a starving, dehydrated, tabby kitten who was found by the roadside – a bypass. It is probably a busy road.

Marion cared for her the first night….You’ll hear the soothing, friendly, cat-loving voice of Marion in the video…

Then Vicky took over. At first, there was a chance this kitten would not survive. Vicky writes:

She had to be given fluids and nutri cal every few hours and was very scared and tired…

Well, she survived and thrived thanks to Marion and Vicky. When adoption time came around as it inevitably does, Vicky discovered she could not do it. She had lost her heart to this kitten while saving her life and nurturing her to full-health. Vicky named her Saeko.

Associated page: Chester! He’s famous. The link goes to a search results page on the topic of “Chester” who was abuse by kids and saved by Marion at Cats Protection.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Cat Management Laws of Tasmania

Tasmanian woman and cat
Tasmanian woman and cat. Photo by David Burke

Tasmania has adopted a very honest approach to “cat shelters”. They call them “cat management facilities”. That does sound a bit dark and mysterious but it is a much better name because the word “shelter” is often wholly inappropriate as cats are often not sheltered at these places.

Cat management facilities are part of a general change in laws relating to the ownership and management of cats that came into force on 1st July 2012.

Essentially these laws inject some degree of regulation and control into cat ownership. I have been writing about this for a while. I tend to agree that some sort of control of cat ownership is beneficial to society and the cats because sadly there will always be a minority of people who are irresponsible or less than adequate in the care of their cat(s).

The laws are

  • Cat Management Act 2009 and
  • Cat Management Regulations 2012

In outline this legislation introduced the following:

Cat breeders must be registered – if not, it is an offence. I like that. An individual person can sell or give away a cat but the cat must be microchipped, neutered or spayed, wormed, vaccinated and be at least 8 weeks old.

Cat management facilities are the modern equivalent of cat shelters, receiving stray cats. At the facility, ownership of the rescued cat is established through the microchip and the cat returned. Unmicrochipped cats are held for 3 days, unreturned microchipped cats for 5 days. Failure to find the owner results in the cat being rehomed, sold or euthanised. That is honest, at least.

Compulsory neutering and spaying of cats is being phased in. At the moment, owners are encouraged to neuter and microchip their cats. When compulsory microchipping has been fully introduced a cat that finds his way to a cat management facility will not be released to his owner unless he is microchipped and neutered.

This is a link to a handout from the Tasmanian government: Cat ownership laws Tasmania 2012

So, you what do you make of it? It seems to be a nice balance between a bit of regulation to force the minority of less than good cat caretakers to sharpen up while maintaining some freedoms. Most Tasmanian cat owners will already have micrchipped and neutered/spayed their cats. They won’t be selling unfixed cats to neighbours or letting them breed and so on. The law won’t affect them. Registration of individual cats is not yet required at a national level although some local governments may require it. I suspect that registration of all cats may one day be phased in and that would be a big step and controversial one.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Cat Size Facts For Kids

This page, written for children, shows the sizes of cats of the world, wild & domestic. I show the weights of some domestic cat breeds and typical domestic cats together with the sizes of all the wild cat species. The size is based on weight but I also show lengths for all the wild cats. As for domestic cats, I have shown the tallest and longest domestic cat heights and lengths.

Warning: I have been careful but there will be arguments about length, height and weight of all cats.

Most cat breeds include cats that are of a “standard” weight. I have chosen some cat breeds that are smaller or larger than normal to show the differences to wild cats.

Normally, the heavier the cat, the bigger (longer and taller) the cat, as long as we don’t include very fat cats! You can see that the domestic cat, the cat in your home, is small compared to almost all the wild cats but some wild cats are smaller than some domestic cats. This is because domestic cats are tamed cats of a species (type) of wild cat called “the wildcat”. You can see the African wildcat in the list.

At the top of the list is the heaviest single cat in the world. The world’s heaviest cat is neither a cat breed nor a true wild cat. He is tame and like a domestic cat but he weighs much more at about 920 pounds (417 kilograms). The world’s smallest is a wild cat: the rusty-spotted cat.

Conversion chart – shows weights and lengths in pounds (lbs) and in the “metric system” (decimal system).

WeightLength
1 pound is 0.454 kilograms (kgs)10 millimeters (mm) is 1 centimeter (cm)
1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds (lbs)100 centimeters is 1 meter
1 meter (m) is 3.3 feet (ft)

 

Associated: See a list of weights of cat breeds.

Note: an Ashera GD is not a cat breed. It is an F1 Savannah except for the name.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

The Declawing of Dr D. Claws

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

This article and poster were inspired by Dee who commented on the post: Declaw Bouquets and Brickbats for Veterinarians.

‘Could we see a hatchet instead of a brick? Easier to cut off fingers at the first knuckle’

It made me laugh and then imagine how good it would be if declawing vets could have a taste of their own medicine from cats.

cats definger a veterinarian
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

So, just suppose cats were as large as humans and humans were as small as cats! Suppose cats had the power to definger the humans who definger them!

I was very tempted to design a declawing vet having his finger ends chopped off by a cat with a hatchet, just for Dee, but cats wouldn’t be so cruel.

They would anesthetise their patient before cutting off his finger ends with a bone cutter, or a resco clipper, or by burning them off with a laser. That’s what declaw vets do.

But here’s the difference, a human can be told what his surgery entails and he is asked for his consent. Cats don’t know what is going to happen to them, they are left at the clinic to face being handled by strangers who cause them fear and pain and shock.

Some of those strangers even charge extra for pain medication after the surgery? Would cats do that? I don’t think so, because cats are not money hungry unfeeling creatures like some vets are.

But the cats in the poster are giving Dr D. Claws no choice to consent and they are charging extra because one of their friends was mutilated by that vet and they want revenge.

In real life of course cats don’t seek revenge, well they can’t can they, they have to accept their fate. Declawed cats have to live with the effects of their ten amputations whether they like it or not.

They have to walk on their severed finger ends immediately they are up and about after their surgery……… and for the rest of their lives.

At least Dr D. Claws won’t have to do that.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

200 domestic cats in Guyana. Why?

There were just 200 cats in Guyana in 20071. Guyana is not a small country. It is 83,000 square miles in size. The UK is 94,000 square miles. There were almost 7 million domestic cats in the UK in 2007.  The difference is stark, weird and it makes me think, why?  Venezuela, Guyana’s neighbour had almost 2.5 million cats at 2007. Venezuela is 354,000 square miles; a country that is 4.3 times the size of Guyana but the cat population is 12,500 times greater!

Guyana is on the north coast of South America as is Venezuela:


View Larger Map

There is nothing on the internet that explains what I have to call an anomaly. There are several possible reasons (are there others?):

  1. The cat population figures are wrong (unlikely)
  2. Gyanese kill domestic cats (highly unlikely)
  3. Guyanese don’t like domestic cats. This seems to be the reason. For Guyana it is one cat per about 3,000 people. For the UK it is one cat per 9 people.
  4. Guyanese much prefer dogs. There are puppy mills in Guyana and there are stray dogs all over streets and often hit by cars2.
  5. The human population of Guyana is very low for its land mass. I haven’t checked this out.

Ref: (1) World Society for the Protection of Animals. (2) stabroeknews.com (an online Guyanese newspaper).

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Bad? Social Media Keeps Memory of Our Cat’s Death Alive

Social media, because it is a record of what is happening in our lives can keep the memory of our cat’s death alive. This is said to be a bad thing in one way because “it has become harder to infuse the past with the rosy glow of nostalgia”.

Memories of our deceased cat
Image by Damian Gadal

Sir Nigel Shadbolt who is chairman of the Open Data Institute, London, says that the data on social media websites that document our lives means that the past no longer fades into soft focus as it did in the past. He is referring to the death of friends and partners but I would suggest that the same could be said about loved animal companions. He suggests that “personas linger”. It needn’t be about death, the same argument could concern the break up of a relationship, for example.

Keeping alive the death of a loved cat could be psychologically distressing. The passing of one’s cat is a tough moment. The new “cyberculture” makes it more difficult to grieve and let go, it is claimed.

It is as if our memories are posted online in hard data. I have certainly seen pictures and words of deceased cats on social media. I have posted memorials myself and it felt right and good to do it. Marc posted a beautiful memorial to Red on PoC. It was a fine thing to do and a beautiful article. There are, actually, very few “in memory” articles on PoC. I wanted more but have my doubts now.

The idea that internet social media might have an unforeseen downside is a new concept.  I see the argument. The more natural state of affairs is to remember things in the brain. That is what we are meant to do. We retain some memories in images. They are usual the best, most memorable moments, hence the rosy glow of the faded memory of a loved one.

I wonder, though, if Sir Nigel Shadbolt is correct. The point about social media is that it is very immediate and transient. Stuff that was posted a week ago is ancient history. It is forgotten. That is a point that Sir Nigel appears to have overlooked.

Secondly, people keep pictures of their deceased cats and loved humans in their albums and living rooms. This has been happening well before the invention of internet social media.

Note: Quotes from Times newspaper article by Hannah Devlin, science editor.

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Why Do Loved Cats Disappear?

Lost cat

You love your cat. Your cat has lived with you for years. One day he or she disappears. You search high and low for days. You are very upset because you love him and you miss him. You do everything you can to find him and after three days, if you are lucky, you find him. He is filthy. He is dry mouthed. He is thin. He is “crawling with weird bugs” and pleased to see you.

Your beloved cat opted for a miserable life under a porch somewhere about half a mile away or under the crawlspace of a neighbor’s house (USA) instead of the warmth and comfort of your home.

I have just read two cases of loved cats disappearing. Their caretakers were distraught so they must have really cared for them and looked after them well. Their cat’s lives were certainly better, much better, than after they had  “escaped to freedom”.

Perhaps the two examples that I read concerned full-time indoor cats who craved an outdoor life but when they discovered it they found it too harsh and couldn’t cope. However, I think this happens with cats who are allowed out.

I don’t know for sure why cats leave their caretaker’s home. If the caretaker is no good then it makes sense to leave. This is not uncommon. Often these cats find another home, perhaps a home they have visited before several times. But to leave a decent home where a cat is treated well for an uncertain future where there is no food and warmth seems strange.

I will have a guess at why this happens. The cat is an indoor cat or confined in some way. The space allowed is too small. The natural drives within a cat click in and the cat seeks ways to express his natural desires, to roam within a territory that suits his instincts.

Once out, he is fine for a while, then he becomes confused and nervous because he has to survive in a strange place. He has lost the skills to do that. It is a fallacy that the domestic cat can survive in the wild, instantly converting from domestic to wild cat.

Why then does he not return to his home? His caretaker is searching for him, calling his name etc.. Why does he stay out, hungry and cold, anxious and out his element? Shouldn’t his go to his human caretaker immediately?

He returns reluctantly, days later, but when he is found by his caretaker, he is happy. His human companion is happier.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

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