Cat on the Keyboard

Author Christine Church's Musings, Books and Stuff…

Toto the Tornado Kitten

Written By: chriscat65 - Jun• 13•12

Toto is aptly named. Rescued after being taken by a tornado last year in Brimfield, Massachusetts, Toto was rescued and adopted and now has his own book. You can read about Toto and see his photos here. http://www.examiner.com/article/toto-the-tornado-kitten

Toto

Toto, who survived a tornado, tells his tale in his book.

Keep Free Roaming Cats off the Streets

Written By: chriscat65 - May• 10•12

When I wrote my book, House Cat, How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Sane & Sound, it was the mid-1990’s and the movement to keep cats indoors was not completely new (believe it or not, people have been keeping indoor cats since the beginning of the domestication of cats), but was spreading throughout the world.

My book at the time was innovative. The whole point was to create an environment perfect to the cat’s needs based on the cat’s nature, thinking and desires.

Since the publication of the first book (the Revised Edition came out in 2005), keeping cats indoors has become extremely popular, and those who believed cats needed free roam have become the minority. This is good for cats, as there are less disasters from outdoor dangers.

But what many “outdoor cat” advocates do not realize is that this is good for humans as well. Back in 2009, I wrote an article about cats being “mini ecological disasters.” This was simply one observation based on a few words quoted by a TV chanracter, however the truth behind it is astonishing.

Read the Rest: http://www.examiner.com/article/keep-free-roaming-cats-off-the-street

Yes, They Really Did Race Cats

Written By: chriscat65 - Apr• 03•12

In my Hartford Horses Examiner column, I often discuss horse racing and the problems associated with racing horses, a sport that has grown in a multi-billion dollar industry. But, what about cat racing? Never heard of it? Well, at one time it was a reality.

Cat race

At one time, cats were raced.

In the latter half of the 1800’s, cat racing took place both in England and Belgium. In June 16, 1860, author Harrison Weir wrote in his book “The Pictorial Times”: “Cat-racing is a sport which stands high in popular favour. In one of the suburbs of Liège it is an affair of annual observance during carnival time… The cats are tied up in sacks, and as soon as the clock strikes the solemn hour of midnight the sacks are unfastened, the cats let loose, and the race begins. The winner is the cat which first reaches home, and the prize awarded to its owner is sometimes a ham, sometimes a silver spoon. On the occasion of the last competition the prize was won by a blind cat.”

As a cat lover and cat care specialist, I cannot claim to like the idea of cats tied up in sacks. Today, such a cruel and torturous act would be shut down before it even began.

But cat racing did not end there with the coming of the 20th century. In 1936 at Portisham in Dorset, England,  a cat race track was built. It resembled a greyhound race track and ran about 220 yards long. An electric mouse was provided for the cats to chase.

After that failed attempt, cat racing seems to have died out.  The last recorded attempt to race cats was in Kent, England in 1949.

Apparently cat racers were not aware of the cat’s aloof nature and their drive for food or else they would have put cat food at the finish line rather than an electronic mouse.  It is no wonder cat racing has never caught on as a competitive sport.

Perhaps in the future a cat will RUN for President.

The Frontline Controversy

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 19•12

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.

READ THE REST: http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/why-does-frontline-for-cats-no-longer-work

Don’t Starve Your Cat!

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 19•12

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:

http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/something-is-better-than-nothing-don-t-starve-your-cat

Rare October Autumn Storm Leaves Cats Cold

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 19•12

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: http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/rare-october-autumn-storm-leaves-cats-cold

Winter Storm Alfred Strikes Connecticut Hard!

Written By: chriscat65 - Jan• 18•12

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 www.hoovesandpawsvideo.com.

See Pictures, Video and Slideshow Here: http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/winter-stromalfred-strikes-connecticut-hard

Freaky Felines

Written By: chriscat65 - Oct• 07•11

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 (http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/christine-church) for all my cat articles.  For this week’s focus cat, visit: http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-hartford/october-freaky-felines-series-two-faces-to-love

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

Written By: chriscat65 - Sep• 06•11

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?

Written By: chriscat65 - Aug• 16•11

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?

READ MORE………..