The Frontline Controversy

I have been battling a flea problem in my Connecticut house for the last 8 months. Before this, I had not seen a single flea since Advantage was invented and hit the market. If I saw ONE flea, I treated the cats with Advantage and they were GONE!

Then Frontline came out! Frontline took care of fleas AND ticks and became extremely popular. At the time, we had one cat that came in and out, and we had dogs. So we switched to Frontline. Never saw a flea.

As time went on we had only one dog going in and out, and only she was getting flea treatment regularly. The cats had no fleas for many years.

Then, about 8 months ago, my cat Jake started losing fur and developing scabs. It had been so long since we had had any fleas, the thought of flea allergy dermatitis never even crossed my mind. But, a trip to the vet confirmed it.

That was the beginning of the battle.

I did what I had done years ago; bought Frontline and treated everyone. Nothing happened. The fleas didn’t even go away. I heard about this problem happening everywhere. People started to say that the fleas have developed an immunity to Frontline.


Don’t Starve Your Cat!

A cat outside may not be as safe, but at least has a chance of finding food. Don't leave cats trapped inside a house or apartment with no food or water or care.

American Playwright Elmer Rice once said “If nature had intended our skeletons to be visible it would have put them on the outside of our bodies.”

This quote does not have to refer only to humans. And, indeed, it seems in my mind to refer more to animals. In one day, I have read three articles of cats being deliberately starved to death, left in homes ON PURPOSE to die slow and agonizing deaths.

All of these posts are from Florida. I’m sure it’s coincidence, since this sort of terrible cruelty happens here in Connecticut as well as everywhere else (remember the British woman who no longer wanted her cats so she just stopped feeding them?).  But, in reading news from all over the country on pet care and attitudes towards animals, I noticed a trend of news articles on starving cats in Florida and of horses in Texas.

The moral of the following news stories is that none of these cats had to suffer. There is ALWAYS another way, a way to prevent the cruelty. Read on:

Rare October Autumn Storm Leaves Cats Cold

November, 11, 2011:

October 29, 2011 was an historic date. Winter Storm Alfred, almost two months before the start of winter, dumped various amounts of snow all over the Northeast. From Maryland to Maine, millions lost power as trees, still heavy with leaves, grabbed the dense saturated snow and ripped boughs and branches to the ground, taking down lines right along with them.
In Connecticut alone, almost a million people were without electricity. For a week or more, many spent their time in dark, cold homes. Many abandoned their homes to stay with friends and relatives who had power or generators.
Cats, however, had to stay home, or worse, outside in the dark.
So, what’s the big deal? you ask. Cats have fur coats, so they were under no danger of the cold (unless of course you have a Sphynx, or one of the other rare breeds with little hair).
Jake watches Winter Strom Alfred

Winter storm Alfred left the state of CT in a state of emergency.

Read the Rest of this Story here:

Winter Storm Alfred Strikes Connecticut Hard!

October 2011:

My cats watched out the window as a rare Nor’easter struck us head on and hard here in Connecticut Saturday, October 29th. It was forecast to start as rain but for the most part began as a wet heavy snow around 1pm. During the night, the wet heavy snow built up on the trees, still heavy with leaves, and took down large limbs and branches, blocking roads, tearing power lines down on every street and knocking power out to over 800,000 Connecticut customers.

Today is November 3rd and we are still without power. We only just received internet and TV today, as the main ATT box is right across the street from my house and they placed a generator on it so we can at least have TV and WiFi (those of us with generators anyway) until electricity is restored, which is not estimated to happen for another 3 or 4 days!

The first few days with no heat was the worst. The cats loved it. They ran around the house like kittens, tearing up rugs like something out of a cartoon as they raced up and down the hall. But by the next day I had the generator in place outside and large safe wires coming in through the window, which had my 6 kitties quite curious but fortunately smart enough not to touch.

Now, I have heat, TV, computer and internet and a few lights. No water or anything to cook with as the microwave is too much for the small generator. So, I have been eating out a lot! I have not had luck finding anyone with a hot shower yet and I have been going through many gallons a day of store bought water just to do every day routines.

The cats certainly don’t seem to mind not having light, though they can see in the dark. I cannot. They have learned to stay out of my way, as I have accidentally tripped over or kicked more than one feline in the dark.

Outside resembles a war zone, or a tornado path. No tree was spared damage and many are just gone. My back yard, though we have only one tree which only lost a single limb, is littered with large branches from the neighbor’s trees. Wires still hang onto the sidewalks all along the main roads. Some trees sill hang precariously over the road and I always hold my breath when I drive underneath them.

Connecticut was hardest hit in this storm. Out of almost 1.8 million power outages, almost a million alone were in CT. Most of us are still without power, but the numbers are dropping. Apparently, many crews are reluctant to respond since they were never paid from help they gave the state after Hurricane Irene. Not fair to those of us living in the dark, but Congress people had better get their stuff together and make sure they pay their bills. The way the weather has been around here, who knows what odd weather phenomena will hit next.

I took this opportunity to exercise my creative muscles and make a dramatic video from scenes and photos I retrieved in my travels. For more on getting your own video (or having your old VHS tapes turned into beautiful DVD memories, please visit my web site at

See Pictures, Video and Slideshow Here:

Freaky Felines

It’s October and this month I will be focusing on Freaky Felines, cats born with unusual abnormalities such as two faces (our first cat), four ears and more. Visit my articles on the Examiner ( for all my cat articles.  For this week’s focus cat, visit:

You can read about Frank and Louie. He is a beautiful (in his own way) special kitty!

Frank and Louie has 2 faces

Frank and Louie the two face cat

Cat Cloning and Moral Values

Did you ever think of having your cat cloned? Not long ago, right here in Connecticut I saw a seminar about cloning cats. Yes, they had a closed cat AND kitten with them as a demonstration. It was interesting but I am not sure I agree with the concept. I mean…why clone cats?

Oh sure, if you have a cat you absolutely love and want its genetic clone, and you have a load of money to spare, perhaps then cloning is an option. But, the chance your cat will be identical to the old kitty you lost… well, let’s just say there’s no proof or scientific evidence of being able to clone personality.

The very first successfully cloned cat is named CC (Copy Cat or Carbon Copy) and she will soon be 10 years old. CC was cloned at the College of Veterinary Medicine at A&M University in Texas 2001, and in December CC will turn 10 years old. She has a mate and they have three offspring. All of them live in a mansion built by Dr. Duane C. Kraemer, an A&M researcher who helped bring CC into the world.In 2006, CC gave birth to 4 kittens, but one was stillborn. “CC has always been a perfectly normal cat and her kittens are just that way, too,” said Kraemer in 2006. “We’ve been monitoring their health and all of them are fine, just like CC has been for the past five years.”

This cat lives better than I do…CC resides in a two-storey abode, which has a screened front porch, air-conditioning, heating, plumbing, catwalks, lofts and an enclosed outdoor play area.

The original genetic donor to the project was a calico cat named Rainbow. But CC is not a calico, hence she is not identical to Rainbow. About 87 cat embryos were produced, but only one developed into a full-term pregnancy after being transferred into a surrogate mother named Allie. CC is a tabby and white, and is genetically identical to Rainbow but epigenetically and thus phenotypically different.

Unfortunately, Allie was adopted by irresponsible pet owners who allowed her outside and she was killed by a car. Rainbow passed away from cancer a couple years ago. CC and her brood are all spayed and neutered now and living the high life in their own mansion.

A&M’s cat-cloning operation was an offshoot of the Missyplicity Project to clone a dog named Missy with funding help from a company (Genetic Savings & Clone) that wanted to market pet cloning. CC came about due to an operation dubbed Operation CopyCat. When the dog-cloning project had little success, researchers turned to cats.

But all the cute names in the world can’t blanket the facts of whether or not cloning is morally right. Every year millions of cats are put todeath because there are so few homes. But, cloning can run parallel to breeding in the moral sense, as it poses the question; would this method of adding more cats to the population hinder the adoption of homeless cats?

I don’t think there’s any right or wrong answer to this question. For now, cat cloning is too expensive for most average cat owners anyway.

Happy Birthday, CC.

What about Justice for the Cats?

You have probably heard by now about Andrea Impey, 30, from Cambridge in England. She is the woman who deliberately let her cats starve to death simply because she no longer wanted them. Her two innocent felines, Tigger and Fluffy, suffered horribly!

Do you know what happens to the body when it is denied proper sustenance? The body, needing energy to keep going literally eats itself! And this is painful and slow. After eating away at fat reserves, the body starts to eat muscle and tissue. By this point, the internal organs are also depleted of energy and nutrients, which begins the process of shutting them down.

All this may not sound like much, but think of the tummy ache you get when you miss a meal. Miss a few and you start to feel weak, dizzy, faint. As your body fights for survival and eats itself, you feel insane, needing to get food so deserately you are almost ready to eat your own limbs! Your innards hurt, you’re intensely thirsty, your head aches and you can barely stand up! You develop diarrhea, anemia, you feel cold, you can’t concentrate, your mental function slows, you may suffer hallucinations and convulsions. And all this can takes weeks, even months–day after day of suffering.

Sound pleasant? I didn’t think so!

Yet, this is what this woman from Cambridge did to her 2 cats–on purpose! What did she get for punishment? The Cambridge Magistrates’ Court banned her from having pets for 5 years!! Call me crazy, but isn’t that what she wanted to begin with? She starved her cats to death because she did not want them anymore! So, how is banning her from having pets any kind of punishment? That’s like suspending a kid because he is skipping school. Isn’t that what he wanted? Not to have to go to school?


University uses Cats to De-stress

Cats are the epitome of relaxation

Cats are the epitome of relaxation

It is a proven fact that petting a cat can lower blood pressure and stress levels. Now, some colleges and universities are using pet therapy techniques to keep students de-stressed and more able to focus on their studies.So much for party central! Rather than beer and pretzels, students are kissing dogs, petting cats and looking at Llamas.

Even Yale has jumped into the pets-as-therpy program. During the first week in April, 2011, students at Yale Law School were able to sign up for a half-hour non-credit course that utilizes dogs in a lesson on “canine kindness.”

The purpose of pet therapy is not only to help students wind down, but to put some animal love back in their lives, particularly those who miss pets left at home when they went off to college. University of Connecticut in Storrs is one of many colleges that offer students the chance to bring in cats and dogs for de-stressing purposes, and therapy pets are also used for “stress debriefing” sessions after a traumatic event, such as a suicide or deadly auto accident.

Pets are non-judgmental, “listening” to a student’s problems without judgment or bias. Petting a calm and relaxed cat is therapeutic not only due to the cat’s ability to stretch out and “emit” relaxation vibes, but their purr is said to be “set” at a frequency that tests have showed lower chemicals in the brain that can be raised in stressful times. It is said that listening to a cat purr can be just as relaxing as a tranquilizer.

Continue reading on UConn uses cats to de-stress – Hartford Cats |

Cats Abandoned on the Cape

Many kittens are available for adoption

Lesson to be learned: If you are about to go to jail, make sure you have a reliable source to care for your cats!

According to the Cape Cod Times, The New England Society for Abandoned Animals rescued eight cats and kittens (5 of which were newborns) from a cottage in S. Yarmouth when the owner was taken to jail and left the animals behind. They had been in the home for over a month before being removed.

“All of the cats were flea-infested,” said Suzanne Sellitto, a volunteer with the New England Society for Abandoned Animals, a Centerville-based organization. “The animals were in need of medical care.” [source]

Though family members of the owner came to feed the cats, it was sporadic, the animals were unhealthy, in need of good nutrition, and covered with fleas. This sort of condition shows long term neglect. Besides the condition of the cats, the home reeked so badly of urine that it could be smelled from outside. Inside, the home was a mess and in complete disarray.

For years, it has been well documented that in the span of seven years, an unspayed cat and her offspring can produce approximately 370,000 kittens. PLEASE, whether your cat is male or female, have him/her neutered/spayed. Remember the words of the famous game show host Bob Barker who always stated “Have your pets spayed and neutered” at the end of every Price is Right episode. Fortunately, each subsequent host of the show has continued with that tradition.

Here in Connecticut, anyone who needs help with their cats, whether it is to find a home, find a cat for adoption, or get information on spaying and neutering and lost cost clinics, check out the Animal Welfare Federation of CT’s website at

Snickers the Kitten Freezes to Death in Plane

Snickers the Hairless Kitten Freezes to death on airplane

Snickers the Hairless Kitten Freezes to death on airplane

What an absolutely tragic situation. An 11 week old Sphynx kitten that was being flown from Utah to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, was left in the cargo hold while the plane was on the ground for an hour, the airplane’s climate control shut off.

Eyewitness News reports, “By the time kitten and owner united, Snickers was icy cold and couldn’t move her head or paws, Lombardi said. The kitten died a short time later.”

The kitten’s owner, Heather Lombardi, payed almost $300.00 to have her new kitten flown in special and cared for properly. This tragic death should never have happened. If the airline had done their job, the kitten would still be alive. Temperatures in CT, especially this winter (which has been especially brutal) have been ranging well below normal and a hairless kitten wouldn’t have a chance in this kind of cold, even for one hour! It would have been rough on any kitten to be confined in sub freezing temperatures for an hour, but one without hair just doesn’t have a chance.

The price of Snickers the kitten’s air fare included a fee to ensure her safe removal from the plane the moment it landed. This was neglected. Delta Airlines will be held accountable for the kitten’s death, but that won’t bring poor little Snickers back to life, nor does it even the score for the suffering she endured.

Lombardi and her daughter took the kitten to the vet immediately, but despite the heat of the car, the kitten let out a terrible cry and went limp. Hypothermia can cause the body’s organs to shut down and after a time, nerves go numb. The sudden heat on the kitten’s cold body brought nerves back to life causing extreme pain and shock. Ultimately, the kitten should have been warmed back up slowly, but chances are she was too far gone to have made it anyway.

In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, the airline could potentially face revocation of its license to transport animals. “The impact of cold on pets depends on body type, health, coat, where the breed was developed and for what purpose,” said veterinarian Louise Murray, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City. “For example, a greyhound will get colder faster than a cocker spaniel.”

Be careful when planning to transport pets by air. Check up with the airlines and be diligent about making sure the safety of your pet is top priority. If you suspect anything might not be right, ask!