When he’s not ‘treating’ trees, arborist can be found climbing them to rescue cats

A Greater Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) man has turned his regular job into a useful skill that saves cats and makes distressed cat owners very happy.

Pixabay photo

Ross Wilkinson is an arborist and tree risk assessor. When he’s not treating trees he can be found climbing trees to rescue cats.

In an interview with Victoria News, Ross explained his love of being a cat hero

“I’ve always had cats growing up, and people would always phone the office and ask for help and I’d say yes. I just enjoy doing it, being a cat person.”

Ross says it’s a misconception that fire departments rescue cats. They do it in extreme situations but most cats are stuck in a tree on their owners’ property.

While Ross doesn’t charge a fee, he does recall a funny story where a young cat was stuck up a 100-foot tree. The people who called him about the cat said it wasn’t even their cat but they were in tears when he brought it down and scraped up every penny they had to pay him. Ross received $46.25 for that rescue.

Since he registered with a Seattle-based online registry of cat rescuers, catinatreerescue.com, he goes on a few rescues per month and believes that is how people find him.

“People are always amazed, but it’s so easy for me to do. I do much harder stuff.”

As long as there are cats who become stuck in a tree, may we always have men willing to climb them.

Source 1.

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Lost cat fed by volunteer, taken to shelter, then a cat café and finally seen by owner on Facebook

Hank, a handsome black-and-white cat went through several steps after getting himself lost before he was reunited with his owner, 20-year-old Andrew Humphreys. Hank had an unusual journey during the time he was lost which ended with the good fortune of Andrew seeing his cat in Facebook because Hank had become a cat café cat.

Andrew, Hank (Jules) and the FB post by Andrew when he saw his cat
Andrew, Hank (Jules) and the FB post by Andrew when he saw his cat — Photos: REGAL CAT CAFÉ.

Hank had disappeared during a time when Andrew was away and was being looked after by a cat sitter. After 2 months of searching he was declared lost.

He ended up at a feral cat colony being cared for by a volunteer working for MEOW Foundation. The volunteer realised he was a domestic cat and took him to a vet for a check up where he was neutered, microchipped and vaccinated in the normal way in preparation for adoption.

Hank was subsequently selected as an ideal candidate for the Regal Cat Café in Calgary, which he joined on January 13th or thereabouts. He was renamed Jules and become a favourite. Soon Jules was photographed and presented to the world on Facebook.

By a miracle of good fortune Andrew bumped into Hank’s Facebook photo and thought that he recognised him. He had been missing for 6 months. He posted the event on Facebook.

Andrew promptly went to the Regal Cat Café:

“He saw me, and he came right up and let me hold him and he kind of just flopped in my arms. I never thought we’d see him again.”

Subsequently he adopted his cat from the MEOW Foundation. Technically Andrew had lost ownership of his cat as Hank had been microchipped as being ‘owned’ by the MEOW Foundation or the Regal Cat Cafe. He had to re-adopt him. He must have proved that he was the original owner and satisfied the requirements for adoption. It was an unusual journey by a lost cat.

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Sources: The Star Calgary and coleandmarmalade.com.

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Cat Survives 40 Degree Wash

Jackie Mullens’ Siamese-mix cat, Gracie, had jumped into the washing machine for a snug snooze unbeknown to Jackie who had just returned from the gym and thrown her clothes into it. She had also put some bedding in which may have attracted Gracie.

Gracie next to the washing machine
Gracie next to the washing machine. Photo: Jackie and SWNS.com

She started the machine and eventually heard the muffled cries of her cat. We aren’t told how long the machine was on. It was set to a short wash of 20 minutes. It was on long enough for Gracie to get sopping wet.

She turned off the machine and recovered Gracie. She immediately rushed her to the veterinarian in Pontypool where she was warned that Gracie might not survive.

“The vet thought she wasn’t going to make it. They said she probably had brain damage and fluid on her lungs. They even spoke to my husband about cremation options and putting her down – we were in bits. But Gracie suddenly lifted her head and started responding, the vet then took back what they said and sent us to see another vet.”

Gracie spent an overnight stay at the vets on a drip. The bill came to £500. Gracie made a full recovery but is frightened of washing machines.

Jackie said:

“I recognised the cat cry immediately but I couldn’t work out where it was coming from. I checked outside to see if she’d it was one of our cats in the garden, I was looking everywhere. Suddenly I realised it was coming from under the counter top – one of them was in the machine – but I didn’t know which one.

I started screaming for my husband and luckily the machine switched off straight away. He said it was Gracie and pulled her out and wrapped her in a towel – she was soaking wet and terrified…”

Both Gracie and Jackie were lucky because as she said, if she had gone out after putting on the machine there would have been a different ending.

Source: The Metro

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I am thinking of the feral cats of Chicago during the Polar Vortex

Polar Vortex and cats
Polar Vortex – extraordinary temperatures and dangerous. Freezing steam inside a home.

I can’t help thinking about the feral and stray cats of Chicago during the brutally cold temperatures caused by the Polar Vortex. We hear of advice to humans to stay inside and that the temperatures are so low at -50 (including wind chill) or thereabout. Minus 20 seems to be the standard at this time. This is in Fahrenheit which is -29 degrees Celsius. It’s cold enough, they say, to cause frostbite in the fingers in ten minutes under certain circumstances. It’s colder than Antarctica!

Mark Powell posted a video of his hallway after he had a shower. The steam from the shower had drifted into the hallway and had instantly frozen on the ceiling and walls! It is astonishing. Hell, his home must be chilly 🙂

And these guys put a jumper on a balcony railing:

But what about the outdoor cats? They have got to be dying. We hear amazing stories of stray cats being frozen to the ground for ages, being rescued and surviving but these Chicago temperatures are different. I can’t see them surviving unless they find cover and warmth somewhere.

Livingston Daily reports an example of a cat dying of hypothermia in minus 16 degree F conditions:

“The cat was almost frozen to death when the woman called. She’d seen the animal walking through her back yard. It looked like a stray. Livingston County Animal Control Deputy J.D. Delatorre tried to save its life Tuesday, ‘I brought the cat into my vehicle to take it to a vet, but unfortunately it passed away,’ he said. A veterinarian later found the cat had suffered from hypothermia.

Online news media does contain many articles about helping these cats. CBS Local has some nice suggestions:

  • Put dry food down as wet will freeze
  • If possibly bring a stray cat inside into a utility room or basement of your home for temporary shelter until the freeze subsides. I think it is due the end soon.
  • Make an insulated, waterproof shelter. I have written about this years ago.
  • You can buy pre-fabricated shelters from Tree House, a cat rescue in Chicago. They cost between $25 and $35. The money goes to helping cats.
  • You can take a stray cat to a cat shelter. This may require trapping etc., which may be beyond the typical citizen.

I feel that feral and stray cats have to be removed from the extremely cold air outside some way or other if they are to survive the next few days.

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Feline Vandalism (video)!

Feline vandalism
Feline vandalism!

This is a bit of fun. The amount of temporary destruction and noise generated by these three young felines is astonishing but I aM sure that it is not exceptional. It is a nice vignette of exuberant kitten life at home. I remember my sibling kittens when living in London tearing up a nice leather sofa not by using it as a scratching post but by running over it, one chasing the other, leaving claw marks. I think it improved the appearance of the sofa – an instant used look. Ten years wear and tear in ten minutes.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1090933493188775936

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Inconclusive study does not find Toxoplasma gondii infection causes schizophrenia in people

An inconclusive study does not find Toxoplasma gondii infection causes schizophrenia as is reported on many websites this morning.

Toxoplasma gondii cyst in mouse brain.
Toxoplasma gondii cyst in mouse brain.

The online newspapers and even online science journals are misrepresenting the conclusions of another study which seeks to find a link between the parasitic protozoan toxoplasma gondii and psychiatric disorders in people.

For instance, IFL Science’s headline boldly and brazenly declares: Biggest Study To Date Finds Link Between Cat Pee And Schizophrenia.

However, the study itself (which we can’t be sure has been carried out soundly – see quote below) concludes in the first lines: T. gondii infection might be a contributing causal factor for schizophrenia.

Below is a comment from Jane:

“My in house, red cell serologist read the paper, so did I. His verdict is that it shows all that is wrong with science. I agree.

EG. Extrapolating connections to theoretical ‘psychiatric’ disease/self harming behaviours from populations who are at least 50% carriers of CMV/TG, is nothing more than a wild stab in the dark. Hilarious in its ineptitude, at best.

It is a pick & mix, disorganised piece of junk. It identifies what it wants to prove, then, rather than try to disprove it, via thorough method & practice, it scrambles desperately to grasp connection to an exploratory, unproven hypothesis. This is micro-combing of data. It is bullshit.

The ‘scientists’ who authored this junk are clinging to their security of tenure. White knuckles, desperate.

Science is the big embarrassment on this one.”

Inconclusive study on T. gondii
Inconclusive study on T. gondii

Therefore the findings of the study are inconclusive. They do not find a causal link. My message to website reporters is to do better please and don’t undermine the reputation of the domestic and feral cat. Also IFL Science carelessly refers to ‘cat pee’ when they should refer to ‘cat poo’.

The cat is a definitive host of the Toxoplasma gondii protozoan (shed in faeces) and therefore if reporters misrepresent the conclusions of studies in this way they are hurting the status of the domestic cat. This can lead to retaliation against stray cats by irresponsible and ignorant people. There is already enough cat abuse in the world. Please don’t encourage more gratuitous violence against innocent animals.

I’d argue that the study entitled: “Large-scale study of Toxoplasma and Cytomegalovirus shows an association between infection and serious psychiatric disorders” [link], might be flawed anyway.

For instance, it may be the case that people with psychiatric disorders are more likely to seek the comfort of a domestic cat and be careless about cleaning the cat’s litter tray. This may expose the person far more to Toxoplasma oocysts which in turn could lead to a higher incidence of people with mental health problems having toxoplasmosis. This is just a crude example. There are many other variables which could mask the conclusion.

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Community provides supplies for Missouri mother and her 5-year-old son to build 30 stray cat shelters

A mother and son in Missouri love animals so much they’re building shelters to help cats and other small animals stay warm. Once the community learned of the project they dropped off enough supplies to complete 30 shelters.

Stephanie Lindquist-Johnson and her five-year-old son are using styrofoam coolers wrapped in trash bags and stuffed with straw or hay.

In an interview with KSHB News Stephanie explained she got the idea from an active cat rescuer.

“We just want to save every animal that we can,” Lindquist-Johnson said. “By doing this, we feel like we are doing good and getting those back out to people who need them, bringing the awareness that these animals out there are freezing cold so it’s really been a neat experience.”

This is a difficult time for much of the U.S. Between keeping outdoor community cats warm and rescuing dogs who have fallen through the ice so many are stepping up to save animals in distress. Stephanie is teaching her young son to be kind to animals.

Our thoughts and prayers are needed for those animals who don’t have a warm home and the people braving below freezing temperatures (some as low as -30 and below) to at least provide a warm bed.

Follow Elisa for more happy endings by clicking here.

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Case of 82-year-old cat hoarder in NC has turned into a living hell for rescuers

The case of the 82-year-old (originally reported as 81) cat hoarder in NC has turned into a living hell for rescuers. What the readers here can do to help is to get in touch with anyone who can offer the feral cats on the property a barn home. Donations are also desperately needed to continue vetting the cats and to cover supplies.

This article is very long compared to most I cover but it’s necessary. What started out as a rescue of around 30 cats has turned into a situation where dead cats and kittens are being found throughout the home and property.

Laura Morrison, the founder of Zach’s Rescue, posted an update Wednesday on Facebook which is published below. I want to warn readers this is extremely graphic and upsetting so those who upset easily may not even want to read it. For those not familiar with this case of animal cruelty/neglect, a PoC article is here.

“More suspected death here in Peachland hoarding home. I’ve grown strangely quiet here the last few days because I know the horrible scenes that are still up ahead. I’ve been going home at night and realizing more has to be done. You get deep in your thoughts and realize many lives are at stake.

Thankful for wonderful people stepping up. I will not be posting graphic pics only partial visibility of pics will be shown. The trash bag contained the remaining decaying babies we took to be cremated. It was a piercing pain to know this was the most horrific ending for what could have been.

I looked at the bag and started getting lost in my thoughts about what life could’ve been for these babies, would they have been sleeping in pretty cat beds by now being held by someone’s child in Christmas pictures, or maybe they’d be a loving companion to someone who was older?

Dead cats in black bag
Dead cats in black bag

And then I realized, it was too late for them. People are angry about the 82-year-old senior. She’s been living for twenty years allowing cats to breed /multiply like rabbits. She told us she and her husband couldn’t afford to spay them. They never knew anyone was pregnant until the cats dragged the babies thru the back door. The owner told us the queen, a calico mom had been giving birth twice a year since 2012. I was shocked.

The cats both friendly and feral had been diving in/out of a hole created in the back door. She told us her husband would haul the babies away to the pound but Anson county has no record of her husband, nothing exists. My suspicion is hundreds may have died here.

The woman’s husband is deceased. He died in 2017. She is alone /estranged from family. We were told none of the family members got along and this senior has had only one sibling who was checking on her mainly by telephone. They said she showed up to a family function last year reeking of animal urine.

I’ve had people say she needs to go to jail and lots say the cats need to be exterminated like Vermin. The house is reeking from urine feces and vomit. The senior is reportedly not well and some have said showing signs of mental decline.

We were told Friday the family will be meeting with the senior to inform her she can no longer live in the home. The family told rescue they have no intentions of coming to the property due to the smell and want rescuers to take care of the cats. 

Anson county informed us that they have room for ten cats but the rest will be euthanized which is why we are out here. We suspect 30 to 40 cats were here breeding. Several were found dead so far. 

I wasn’t aware that the shelter has no crematory. Which means if euthanized the cats will go in trash bags out to the city landfill. Their resources are minimal with a very tiny budget. So my focus is to create as many resources as possible to get everyone out.

Cats are hiding in shelves, underneath furniture. Some are pregnant. Most are jumping off the porch Landing running for the area sheds/ dilapidated houses.

If you can help me personally with trapping I’d appreciate the help. We plan on trapping four today that will be picked up by Dee Dee Clark on Saturday. These will be feral.

We are in desperate need of blankets, towels, cleaning supplies, Rubbermaid tubs. Any donations for vetting/supplies can be sent to ldh2363@yahoo.com. We’ve already spent 200 on supplies and 300 on vetting. 
I need one extra volunteer to help trap today.

This is a horrific situation that has been spinning out of control for 20 years. An ill senior living with decaying cats and an impoverished county with little resources. We still need multiple rescues to step up. Farms and barns.

There’s much more to say but we will save it for a later time. We are in need of supplies today. We will most likely use SNIPWELL or another low-cost clinic to vet the Ferals.”

Updates will be provided ….

Laura Morrison

There is a bit of good coming out of this tragedy. One of the kittens has been officially adopted!

While there are many who are calling for charges to be made against the lady, it likely wouldn’t get justice for the cats. The woman is said to be terminally ill and we know how many times court cases are postponed in North Carolina. She would probably be unable to attend court and if she IS terminally ill, she’ll be dead before the case even goes to court.

Laura Morrison is keeping us all up to date via Facebook. We need to keep Laura and those helping her in our thoughts and prayers. This is the type of animal rescue situation we all dread. Her PayPal is ldh2363@yahoo.com for those who wish to help.

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